Google has just paid a record-breaking $25 million to get exclusive rights to the entire “.app” top-level web domain. The company outbid 11 other bidders, including Amazon, in a heated auction that closed yesterday with the unnamed runner up reportedly offering at least $24.3 million.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been gradually auctioning off a number of top-level domains since June 2014. Among the most notable ones so far are “.tech”, which Dot Tech LLC bought for $6.7 million, while Amazon snapped up “.spot” for $2.2 million and “.buy” for nearly $5 million. The full list of auctioned domains can be found here.
Google already owns the ".how," ".soy," and ".minna" domains too. The new “.app” is a natural fit with the Google Play service. The company hasn’t yet announced plans for the new TLD, but its application suggests that it will allow the domain name to be universally used and not limited to its platform.
“The mission of the proposed gTLD, .app, is to provide a dedicated domain space for application developers. The term “app” is associated with a wide variety of applications, including mobile applications, web- and browser-based applications, cloud-hosted applications and even desktop applications. Charleston Road Registry expects uses of the gTLD will include a wide variety of uses across all of these types of applications, not limited to any specific platform or provider. The proposed gTLD will enhance consumer choice by providing new availability in the second-level domain space in which application developers can deliver new content and offerings. It also creates new layers of organization on the Internet and signals the kind of content available in the domain.”
Google has also submitted applications for the top-level domains ".dad," ".here," ".eat," “.lol” and ".new," among others that are either meant to protect their trademarks or related to their core business like “.google”, “.docs” or “.youtube”.