In a private auction which took place last month, Amazon won the right to sell top-level domain names ending in .book. They managed to beat out other major companies who were also interested in gaining the rights over these domains, including Google, paying $10m (£6.3m) for the rights. This auction took place just days after Amazon also secured the rights to .buy, for the price of $4.6m (£2.9m).
Last year, a number of new domain name suffixes were created by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), who are in charge of domain names. This saw the emergence of a number of new alternatives to the widely seen .com domains, including .dog, .tennis and the sought after .london domains which became available earlier this year and were quickly snapped up by many London businesses. More valuable top-level domains are due to be auctioned this month too.
The availability of more diverse and specific domain names allows businesses and individuals to create more meaningful domains, which in turn can boost their online presence, make them more visible online and help them to inform new and existing customers about what they do. However, .com and .net addresses continue to dominate the web – although this looks set to change gradually in the future as more and more diverse domain names become available.