Organisations and businesses wishing to purchase web addresses ending in their brand names have until 00:00 GMT on Thursday to submit applications.
For example, drinks giant Pepsi can apply for .pepsi, .gatorade or .tropicana as an alternative to existing suffixes such as .org or .com. Organisations are able to request up to 50 different web address endings. Companies had to sign up to the process by March in order to qualify for the upcoming deadline with ICANN, 839 users are taking part. ICANN plans to publish details on 30th April.
Canon and Google are among the companies to have confirmed that they paid the required fees of £116,355 to take part in the process. Nominet, the organisation which manages .uk domains, confirmed it was also applying for .wales and .cymru.
Successful applicants will also have costs of £15,800 per year to maintain the addresses.
The process does have the potential to cause problems among firms that share brand names. The US and German firms that both operate under the name Merck have already clashed over ownership of a Facebook page. “We’re monitoring the Icann gTLD application process with interest,” Ron Rogers, a spokesman for the New Jersey-based company, told the BBC. Icann suggested that in such cases the firms involved should try to negotiate a deal by themselves. If they fail, it said it would hold an auction for the suffix as a “last resort”.
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