The .Shop Top Level Domain (TLD)

In 2012, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and numbers, accepted applications to create new Top Level Domains (TLDs). A TLD is the text to the right of the final dot in a domain name. For example, .Com is the most popular TLD today. 1,930 applications for proposed new TLDs were filed. DotAnything.co will be featuring one perspective new TLD per week in our 10-week series on the most popular new TLDs.


September 30, 2013 - For more than 30 years, the .COM Top Level Domain (TLD) has ruled the Internet as the most popular TLD ever created. Originally intended to stand for 'Commercial', domains in the .COM TLD spam every continent, topic, and country on the face of the planet.

Today, there are just 22 generic Top Level Domains - like .COM and .BIZ - from which to choose. But with over 200 million domain names, well, it's easy to see that 22 just isn't enough.

In 2012, Internet regulators held a historic application round, inviting companies to apply to create any new TLD that they wanted. The response from the business community was enthusiastic. 1,930 applications for new TLDs were filed for everything from .GAP and .BMW to .Shop, .Site, .Web and .Buzz.

DotAnything.co will be profiling the most popular new TLDs in a ten-week series on new TLD applicants. This week's featured TLD is the .Shop TLD.

The .Shop TLD

The .Shop TLD is the most popular TLD in the 2012 application round. In 2012, SEDO, a popular domain name marketplace, released its list of the top ten most valuable TLDs. Number one on the list was the .Shop TLD.

Sedo’s list has indeed proven prophetic, as the .Shop TLD has more pre-registrations on DotAnything.co than any other TLD, even surpassing the .Web and .Site TLDs. But why is the .Shop TLD so popular? According to Shweta Sahjwani, Strategic Partner Manager for DotShop Inc., “.Shop will allow Registrants in the e-commerce market to differentiate themselves from the 200+ million domain names out there. As of now, a domain belonging to an online store appears identical to any other domain name in a .gTLD (com) or .ccTLD extension (eg .in).” DotShop Inc. - a wholly owned subsidiary within the Directi Group - is one of the nine applicants seeking to operate the .Shop TLD.

The future of the .Shop TLD

It is unclear at this stage which company will be awarded the contract to operate the .Shop TLD. There were nine applications filed in the 2012 ICANN application round from companies seeking to operate the .Shop TLD. The table below provides a list of the 9 pending applications for the .Shop TLD:

Priority Number ApplicantFuture Plans for .Shop TLD
649Commercial Connect LLCDomain Sales Available to public. Additional security features planned.
1639Sugar Maple, LLC (a Donuts company)Domain Sales Available to public.
1837Dot Shop LimitedDomain Sales Available to public.
1556Amazon EU S.à r.l.Domains restricted to Amazon Only
1191Charleston Road Registry Inc. (wholly owned by Google, Inc) Domain Sales Available to public.
1633DotShop Inc.Domain Sales Available to public.
1593GMO Registry, Inc.Domain Sales Available to public.
410GMO Registry, Inc.Domain Sales Available to public.
494Beijing Jingdong 360 Du E-Commerce TLDDomain Sales Available to public.

About the Applicants


Commercial Connect LLC

Commercial Connect LLC has a long history with the .Shop TLD. Commercial Connect LLC originally applied to create the .Shop TLD back in 2000, and although the application was well received, ICANN elected to allow only a few new TLDs to be created at that time. Indeed, Commercial Connect's application for the .Shop TLD in the 2000 application round is the only application for a TLD in that round that was completely approved throughout the application process without being delegated. Since then, Jeremy Smith, the owner of Commercial Connect LLC, has continued to build momentum around the .Shop TLD, building a consortium of leading companies supporting his bid for a .Shop TLD.

 

Sugar Maple, LLC

Surgar Maple, LLC is wholly owned by Donuts, Inc. Donuts, through its subsidiary companies, has applied for more TLDs than any other company. Donuts, Inc. is a venture-capital funded company created solely to apply for new Top Level Domains. Backers include Austin Ventures, Adams Street Partners, Emergence Capital Partners, TL Ventures, Generation Partners, Stahurricane, Comerica Bank, and Columbia Partners Investment Management.

Donuts applied for the following TLDs:

TLD
.academy TLD
.accountants TLD
.agency TLD
.apartments TLD
.app TLD
.architect TLD
.art TLD
.associates TLD
.attorney TLD
.auction TLD
.audio TLD
.auto TLD
.baby TLD
.band TLD
.bargains TLD
.baseball TLD
.basketball TLD
.beauty TLD
.bet TLD
.bike TLD
.bingo TLD
.blog TLD
.boats TLD
.book TLD
.boutique TLD
.broadway TLD
.broker TLD
.builders TLD
.business TLD
.buy TLD
.cab TLD
.café TLD
.camera TLD
.camp TLD
.capital TLD
.cards TLD
.care TLD
.careers TLD
.cars TLD
.casa TLD
.cash TLD
.casino TLD
.catering TLD
.center TLD
.charity TLD
.chat TLD
.cheap TLD
.church TLD
.city TLD
.claims TLD
.cleaning TLD
.clinic TLD
.clothing TLD
.cloud TLD
.club TLD
.coach TLD
.codes TLD
.coffee TLD
.college TLD
.community TLD
.company TLD
.computer TLD
.condos TLD
.construction TLD
.consulting TLD
.contractors TLD
.cool TLD
.corp TLD
.coupons TLD
.cpa TLD
.credit TLD
.creditcard TLD
.cricket TLD
.cruises TLD
.data TLD
.dating TLD
.deals TLD
.degree TLD
.delivery TLD
.dental TLD
.dentist TLD
.design TLD
.diamonds TLD
.diet TLD
.digital TLD
.direct TLD
.directory TLD
.discount TLD
.doctor TLD
.dog TLD
.domains TLD
.eco TLD
.education TLD
.email TLD
.energy TLD
.engineering TLD
.enterprises TLD
.equipment TLD
.estate TLD
.events TLD
.exchange TLD
.expert TLD
.exposed TLD
.express TLD
.fail TLD
.family TLD
.fan TLD
.farm TLD
.fashion TLD
.film TLD
.finance TLD
.financial TLD
.fish TLD
.fitness TLD
.flights TLD
.florist TLD
.flowers TLD
.food TLD
.football TLD
.forsale TLD
.forum TLD
.foundation TLD
.free TLD
.fund TLD
.furniture TLD
.futbol TLD
.fyi TLD
.gallery TLD
.games TLD
.garden TLD
.gifts TLD
.glass TLD
.global TLD
.gmbh TLD
.gold TLD
.golf TLD
.graphics TLD
.gratis TLD
.gripe TLD
.group TLD
.guide TLD
.guru TLD
.haus TLD
.health TLD
.healthcare TLD
.help TLD
.hockey TLD
.holdings TLD
.holiday TLD
.home TLD
.hospital TLD
.hosting TLD
.hot TLD
.hotel TLD
.house TLD
.immo TLD
.inc TLD
.industries TLD
.institute TLD
.insurance TLD
.insure TLD
.international TLD
.investments TLD
.jewelry TLD
.juegos TLD
.kitchen TLD
.land TLD
.law TLD
.lawyer TLD
.lease TLD
.legal TLD
.life TLD
.lighting TLD
.limited TLD
.limo TLD
.live TLD
.living TLD
.llc TLD
.loans TLD
.love TLD
.ltd TLD
.luxury TLD
.mail TLD
.maison TLD
.management TLD
.market TLD
.marketing TLD
.mba TLD
.media TLD
.medical TLD
.memorial TLD
.mobile TLD
.money TLD
.mortgage TLD
.movie TLD
.music TLD
.network TLD
.news TLD
.now TLD
.online TLD
.partners TLD
.parts TLD
.pets TLD
.phone TLD
.photography TLD
.photos TLD
.pictures TLD
.pizza TLD
.place TLD
.plumbing TLD
.plus TLD
.poker TLD
.productions TLD
.properties TLD
.property TLD
.racing TLD
.radio TLD
.realestate TLD
.realty TLD
.recipes TLD
.red TLD
.reisen TLD
.rent TLD
.rentals TLD
.repair TLD
.report TLD
.restaurant TLD
.reviews TLD
.rocks TLD
.rugby TLD
.run TLD
.sale TLD
.salon TLD
.sarl TLD
.school TLD
.schule TLD
.search TLD
.security TLD
.services TLD
.shoes TLD
.shop TLD
.shopping TLD
.show TLD
.singles TLD
.site TLD
.ski TLD
.soccer TLD
.software TLD
.solar TLD
.solutions TLD
.spa TLD
.sports TLD
.storage TLD
.store TLD
.studio TLD
.style TLD
.sucks TLD
.supplies TLD
.supply TLD
.support TLD
.surgery TLD
.systems TLD
.tax TLD
.taxi TLD
.team TLD
.tech TLD
.technology TLD
.tennis TLD
.theater TLD
.tickets TLD
.tienda TLD
.tips TLD
.tires TLD
.today TLD
.tools TLD
.tours TLD
.town TLD
.toys TLD
.trading TLD
.training TLD
.tube TLD
.university TLD
.vacations TLD
.ventures TLD
.vet TLD
.viajes TLD
.video TLD
.villas TLD
.vin TLD
.vip TLD
.vision TLD
.vote TLD
.voyage TLD
.watch TLD
.web TLD
.website TLD
.wedding TLD
.wine TLD
.works TLD
.world TLD
.wtf TLD
.yoga TLD
.zone TLD
.企业 (enterprise) TLD
.商店 (shop or store) TLD
.娱乐 (entertainment) TLD
.游戏 (games) TLD


Dot Shop Limited

Dot Shop Limited is a subsidiary of Domain Venture Partners PCC Limited. Domain Venture Partners PCC Limited has partnered with Neustar, Inc to provide back-end services for the .Shop TLD. Domain Venture Partners PCC Limited is a venture-backed company and was launched in October 2011 with investment assets of 48.3 million. The purpose of Domain Venture Partners PCC Limited is to invest in applying for new TLDs. Domain Venture Partners PCC Limited invested in 60 different companies which each applied with ICANN to create new TLD Registries. Of those 60 applications 12 are currently uncontested and these are expected to launch in Q1 2014.



Amazon EU S.a.r.l.

Amazon EU S.à r.l. (yes, that Amazon – owner of Amazon.com) was one of the nine applicants for the .Shop TLD. Unlike the other applicants, Amazon intends to operate the .Shop TLD as a restricted registry, meaning that domain names within the .Shop TLD would not be sold to the general public. Amazon applied for a total of 76 TLDs (including .Shop).

Amazon applied for the following TLDs:

TLD
.amazon TLD
.app TLD
.audible TLD
.author TLD
.aws TLD
.book TLD
.bot TLD
.box TLD
.buy TLD
.call TLD
.circle TLD
.cloud TLD
.coupon TLD
.deal TLD
.dev TLD
.drive TLD
.fast TLD
.fire TLD
.free TLD
.game TLD
.got TLD
.group TLD
.hot TLD
.imdb TLD
.jot TLD
.joy TLD
.kids TLD
.kindle TLD
.like TLD
.mail TLD
.map TLD
.mobile TLD
.moi TLD
.movie TLD
.music TLD
.news TLD
.now TLD
.pay TLD
.pin TLD
.play TLD
.prime TLD
.read TLD
.room TLD
.safe TLD
.save TLD
.search TLD
.secure TLD
.shop TLD
.show TLD
.silk TLD
.smile TLD
.song TLD
.spot TLD
.store TLD
.talk TLD
.tunes TLD
.tushu TLD
.video TLD
.wanggou TLD
.wow TLD
.yamaxun TLD
.you TLD
.yun TLD
.zappos TLD
.zero TLD
.アマゾン TLD
.クラウド TLD
.ストア TLD
.セール TLD
.ファッション TLD
.ポイント TLD
.亚马逊 TLD
.家電 TLD
.書籍 TLD
.通販 TLD
.食品 TLD


Charleston Road Registry

Charleston Road Registry, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Google, Inc. Through its subsidiary, Google applied for a total of 101 TLDs, including .Shop. If awarded the .Shop TLD, Google intends to operate it as an unrestricted registry, meaning that domains within the .Shop TLD would be sold to the general public. It remains to be seen whether Google will use the existing Distribution network (eg. Registrars like GoDaddy.com) to sell its domain names or whether Google will create its own Registrar platform.

Google applied for the following TLDs in the 2012 ICANN application process:

TLD
.ads TLD
.and TLD
.android TLD
.app TLD
.are TLD
.baby TLD
.blog TLD
.boo TLD
.book TLD
.buy TLD
.cal TLD
.car TLD
.channel TLD
.chrome TLD
.cloud TLD
.corp TLD
.cpa TLD
.dad TLD
.day TLD
.dclk TLD
.dds TLD
.dev TLD
.diy TLD
.docs TLD
.dog TLD
.dot TLD
.drive TLD
.earth TLD
.eat TLD
.esq TLD
.est TLD
.family TLD
.film TLD
.fly TLD
.foo TLD
.free TLD
.fun TLD
.fyi TLD
.game TLD
.gbiz TLD
.gle TLD
.gmail TLD
.gmbh TLD
.goo TLD
.goog TLD
.google TLD
.guge TLD
.hangout TLD
.here TLD
.home TLD
.how TLD
.inc TLD
.ing TLD
.kid TLD
.live TLD
.llc TLD
.llp TLD
.lol TLD
.love TLD
.mail TLD
.map TLD
.mba TLD
.med TLD
.meme TLD
.mom TLD
.moto TLD
.mov TLD
.movie TLD
.music TLD
.new TLD
.nexus TLD
.page TLD
.pet TLD
.phd TLD
.play TLD
.plus TLD
.prod TLD
.prof TLD
.rsvp TLD
.search TLD
.shop TLD
.show TLD
.site TLD
.soy TLD
.spot TLD
.srl TLD
.store TLD
.talk TLD
.team TLD
.tech TLD
.tour TLD
.tube TLD
.vip TLD
.web TLD
.wow TLD
.you TLD
.youtube TLD
.ZIP TLD
.グーグル TLD
.みんな TLD
.谷歌 TLD


DotShop Inc.

DotShop Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary within the Directi Group. The Directi Group runs various businesses including several ICANN Accredited Domain Registrars (ResellerClub.com and BigRock.com) and Web Hosting companies. With over four million active domain names registered through its registrars, Directi has significant experience (over 10 years) of managing domain name abuse mitigation and rights protection.

According to Shweta Sahjwani, Strategic Partner Manager for DotShop Inc., "DotShop Inc. will draw upon the lasting business relationships that Directi has built with hundreds of registrars and thousands of resellers worldwide to achieve a robust distribution channel for .Shop. DotShop Inc. is in the unique position to leverage the significant industry-specific experience, expertise, and resources from within The Directi Group to make .Shop amongst the most successful new gTLDs in the future."



GMO Registry, Inc.

GMO Registry was founded in 2009 and is financially supported and backed by GMO Internet Group whose, domain business manages millions of domains.

GMO Registry applied for the following TLDs:

TLD
.tokyo TLD
.shop TLD
.nagoya TLD
.osaka TLD
.inc TLD
.mail TLD
.yokohama TLD
.shop TLD


GMO Registry, Inc. (yes, GMO applied twice)

Same as above.



Beijing Jingdong 360 Du E-Commerce TLD

Jingdong Mall provides online sales of home appliances, digital communications, computers, home merchandise, apparel, baby, books, food and more. In 2010, Jingdong Mall emerged as China's first network of more than ten billion scale retail enterprises. Beijing Jingdong 360 Du E-Commerce TLD applied only for one TLD: .Shop.



What's Next for the .Shop Applicants


Initial Evaluation and Extended Evaluation (In Progress)

All applicants for the .Shop TLD, with the exception of Commercial Connect LLC, have now passed the Initial Evaluation phase of the new TLDs application process. Commercial Connect LLC is currently participating in the Extended Evaluation phase for its .Shop application, which is an optional Extended Evaluation available to applicants for an additional fee. Depending on the results of the Extended Evaluation of Commercial Connect's application for .Shop, Commercial Connect may or may not be allowed to proceed to the next phases of the application process. If Commercial Connect's application for .Shop is deemed to have received a passing score after Extended Evaluation, Commercial Connect will be allowed to proceed to the next phase of the application process. If Commercial Connect's application for the .Shop TLD is deemed to have failed the Extended Evaluation process, then Commercial Connect will be ineligible to proceed with the next phases of the application process.


Dispute Resolution (In Progress)

The Dispute Resolution phase of the ICANN evaluation process has been running concurrently with Initial Evaluations and Extended Evaluations. The Dispute Resolution phase of the new TLDs application process is an opportunity for applicants or other interested parties to file disputes against new TLD applications on one of four dispute grounds: Legal Rights, String Confusion, Limited Public Interest or Community Objection.

The deadline for filing a dispute against an application for a new TLD has closed. Surprisingly, just two objections were filed against an applicant for a .Shop TLD:

In addition to the objections above, Commercial Connect LLC also filed several additional String Confusion objections against other strings, such as .Store and .ShopYourWay, which it felt were too similar to the .Shop TLD and could potentially cause consumer confusion.

In addition, all of the applicants for the .Shop TLD have been placed in a contention set, which means that only one of the nine applicants for the .Shop TLD can be awarded the contract (or Registry Agreement) to actually operate the .Shop tLD.


The Next Step: Negotiations or Bidding?

If, after the Dispute Resolution phase is complete, more than one applicant is still 'in the running' in a given contention set, then applicants are encouraged to negotiate amongst themselves. So far, this has resulted in either applicants agreeing to combine their applications or else in a bidding processes hosted by third party providers. For example, Tucows, Directi and Namecheap recently combined their bids for the .online Top Level Domain.

On the other hand, other applicants, such as Donuts, Inc., have indicated their unwillingness to participate in such negotiations, and instead are participating in a bidding process to determine which applicant should operate a given TLD. For example, Innovative Auctions has hosted several private auctions which have been used to determine which applicant in a contention set should be allowed to continue to the next phase of the ICANN application process. Participants in private auctions agree to withdraw their application for a given TLD if they fail to win in a bidding war for the rights to a given TLD.

Since Donuts, Inc. is one of the 9 applicants for the .Shop TLD (Donuts owns Sugar Maple LLC), and Donuts, Inc. has publicly expressed its interest in participating in Private Auctions hosted by Innovative Auctions, it is highly likely that, rather than a combined application for the .Shop TLD, we will instead see a bidding war for the .Shop TLD hosed by a Private Auction provider like Innovative Auctions.


Signed Registry Agreement

After all but one applicants for a given TLD have either withdrawn their applications or been eliminated, the next phase would be for the TLD applicant to sign a Registry Agreement with ICANN. To date, 47 such agreements have been signed. Only after the Negotiation / Bidding process for the .Shop TLD is complet will one of the nine applicants for the .Shop TLD be able to proceed to sign a Registry Agreement with ICANN for the .Shop TLD. At this point, it's anybody's guess which of the nine applicants will ultimately be eligible to sign a contract with ICANN for the .Shop TLD.


Pre-Delegation Testing

After a Registry Agreement for a TLD is signed, the TLD applicant has 30 days to pass Pre-Delegation testing. After Pre-delegation testing, ICANN will file a formal request with IANA for the new TLD to be delegated into the Root Zone


Ramp Up

After a new TLD is delegated into the Root Zone, there is typically a six month "ramp-up" phase during which the new TLD signs up Registrars / sets up its distribution strategy for new TLDs


General Availability

After the Ramp-up phase is complete, applicants who operate an unrestricted registry will begin the Sunrise period, which is the period where first Trademark owners are allowed to purchase their trademarked domain names, after which there is a phase where those who wish to purchase high value domains within the new TLD may bid for their domains. Once the Sunrise phase is complete, domain names within the new TLD are made available for purchase by the general public.

Since extended evalution can take up to 90 days, and a bidding process may take additional time, it may late in 2014 before domains within a .Shop TLD could be created either by a Restricted Registry creating wholly owned domains or by an Unrestricted Registry selling domain names within the .Shop TLD to the general public.




 

(Enter multiple domain names separated by a line break.)

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