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In This Issue:

    April 30, 2013

    For business web domains, change is inevitable

    Wolfe, JenniferThe web presence of businesses will be forced to evolve yet again, thanks to a group of powerful companies with deep pockets. Jennifer Wolfe, a local attorney and web expert, spoke last week at the Cincinnati Chamber about the sale of new, alternative domain names. Those names could give companies another branding option. Some of those new domains could be seen online later this year after being made available for purchase a year ago. "When this starts to launch, there is going to be enormous opportunity here," said Wolfe.

    Google, Amazon and Microsoft are just a few of the hundreds of companies who put in applications for the new domains, with a price tag of just under $200,000 for each application. Those three companies alone submitted nearly 200 applications. The ability to secure new domain endings, such as .baby, .macys, and .game to name just a few, is predicted to benefit companies and their searchability far beyond what current domains can do. The applications, filed with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) are currently being reviewed. In many cases, auctions will be held for domains requested by more than company. Wolfe says she expects some domains to fetch twenty-million dollars at auction.

    Not every company went after the domains, with MasterCard, Starbucks, Burger King, Wells Fargo and Procter and Gamble sitting out the first round of applications. Another round of applications is expected to be started in about eighteen months.

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