The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees domain names, is expected to start taking applications early next year for new top-level domains. Companies can use their own name in place of domain extensions, according to a survey conducted by Future Laboratory.
Internet domains will be liberalized next year, many companies are aware of that they can use their own name as domain extensions such as .com, .org, or.net.
The change would let companies like Nike or Microsoft control their own domain and better exploit their brands, and also counter cyber-squatters who use variations of brands domain extensions.
If you have '.Nike', for example, you can create real and specific branded Websites, like 'running.nike' or 'runlondon.nike', said Joe White, chief operating officer of domain registrar Gandi.net.
This change has not yet permeated into the mainstream for businesses or consumers, White said. However, those businesses which are aware actually see the prospect as being quite exciting, he said.
However, the price of $185,000 will initially limit applications to the largest corporations and organizations, said Tom Savigar, Strategy and Insight Director at The Future Laboratory.
ICANN is expecting 300-500 applications when it opens its doors in the first quarter of next year, Savigar said. Owning their domain could secure a higher level of credibility and recognition.
Smaller businesses will be able to use more specific extensions to match their business sector or geography such as .london or .paris, he said.