Microsoft, Nokia and others object to Google's domain-name 'land grab'
19th Mar 2013 | 16:30
.map, .search and .fly causing contention
FairSearch, a group of companies including Microsoft, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Nokia and Oracle, has voiced concerns over Google's application to own hundreds of new web domains.
In an open post on its website, Fairsearch reveals that it has formally filed objections to Google's requests, telling ICANN (that's the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) that granting Google control of the generic top level domains (gTLD) it wants will give Google an unfair advantage over other companies.
With Google hoping to win the rights to domains like .map, .search and .fly, you can see why Nokia (maps), Microsoft (Bing) and Expedia (flight comparison) would be unhappy.
The filing states that Google would end up with "an unfair advantage against other members of this community through the improper grant of perpetual monopoly of generic industry terms to a single company".
That's because Google would have control over who is and isn't allowed to use those domain suffixes - so any company wanting to register a .search address would have to apply to Google, the world's most dominant search engine company, for permission.
And that's not cool, says FairSearch in its objection: "The .search application demonstrates that Google intends to exclude all others in the Industry from using common generic industry terms for its business."
"If Google is given control over the new '.map' and '.fly' gTLDs, Google will have the power to decide which of its mapping and flight-booking competitors will have access to the important new signposts on the internet that signal to users whether a website's content is credible and relevant to their interests," the group adds.
"Google's applications for '.search,' '.map' and '.fly' are particularly concerning given the company's market power and preferential treatment of its own search, map and online travel services."
Google isn't the only company coming under fire for its top level domain interests: the publishing industry has also complained to ICANN about Amazon's application to control the .book domain.