New domain rule doesn't mean end of .com

Now that the governing body of the Internet has declared that “.anything” is possible, don’t expect the unique website extensions to get much use, domain industry leaders say.

Starting next year, companies that don’t mind forking over $185,000 can apply to create their own domain suffix, whether it’s a generic name such as .hotel or .blue, or something specific to a brand, like .coke. If accepted, the owner has to pay an additional $25,000 annually.

It’s possible Disney could buy .mickey, .espn or .magic. Rand McNally could buy .map – unless Google snags that suffix first. All requests must be approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which announced the new domain possibilities Monday.

Some experts in the domain name industry are calling this a pointless service created by ICANN to profit off companies who will pay just to secure a brand identity. In turn, it also means more business for marketing agencies charged with giving a useful purpose to the costly extensions.

ICANN, a non-profit that regulates Internet registries and domain names, oversees more than 300 generic and country-specific extension codes, such as .fr for France, .biz and .travel. In March this year, ICANN approved the domain .xxx to be purchased by pornographic websites.

Read the full story at