Top-level domains, the part of an Internet address after the “dot”, are in for a big change. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — ICANN — is allowing companies to use their brand name for as a suffix if they pay a hefty premium. AP is reporting that Apple is one of the companies seeking a vanity top-level domain, along with others like Sony Corp. and American Express Co.
To make a proposal for a new top-level domain, organizations or individuals had to pony up US$185,000. It’s expected that some of the proposals, such as the ones for .bank, .auto, and .pizza, will generate millions of dollars in revenue to winning bidders as they license the suffix to other companies.
For Apple, a successful proposal might mean that a Web address such as “apple.com/support/imovie” could change to “imovie.support.apple”. To a large group of customers who have become accustomed to pointing their web browsers to “apple.com”, the change might not be accepted quickly.
ICANN has opened the proposed top-level domains to public comment. It’s expected that it may take up to two years for ICANN to approve the first of the new suffixes.