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It’s Google Versus Amazon in the Top-Level Domain Applications

The great Internet land grab of '12 kicks off.
2527660307 776bde581d It’s Google Versus Amazon in the Top Level Domain Applications

Like this but with Internet addresses instead of homesteads. (Photo: flickr.com/sergemelki)

Boy oh boy: The list of applicants for ICANN’s new top-level domains dropped today, and it looks like Google and Amazon like a lot of the same words.

Things are different from when the world (wide web) was young and no one yet recognized its promise. In those days, you could grab prime real estate and flip it for profit quicker than someone who bought a Soho loft circa 1978. But now everyone recognizes that a promising domain name means money, honey, and that means the term “land grab” is getting thrown around an awful lot.

Some of the applications are, as expected, no-brainers. Just in the Cs, General Motors wants .Cadillac, Citigroup wants .CITI, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants wants .cpa.

But the really interesting applications are the ones with multiple prospective owners. Amazon and Google are going head-to-head for several choice TLDs: .cloud, .search, .shop, .movie, and .book. Is this like the Filene’s wedding sale, where you grab as many dresses as possible with the assumption anything that doesn’t fit is a bargaining chip? The organization that issues ISBNs, Bowker, is also in the running for .book and seems like it may well be the most impartial choice, but what do we know?

Examining Amazon’s other requests, we can’t help but wonder whether the ecommerce juggernaut is building Skynet over on the West Coast. Besides .box, the company wants .bot, .call, .circle, and .now. As in, the Singularity.now?

Also, Google (which is apparently handling all its applications through a branch called Charleston Road Registry Inc.) wants .mom, .baby, .family, .dad, .pet, and .boo. We’re not sure whether those are supposed to fall under “Domains we think have interesting and creative potential” or what.

Two utterly random gems: the Pontificium Consilium de Comunicationibus Socialibus AKA the Pontifical Council for Social Communication (which we assume is a branch of the Vatican) wants .Catholic, while Hotel Cipriani Srl wants .Cipriani.

Finally, the Guardian is the sole applicant for .observer. Sadface.betabeat.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com