Debate over new internet domain names

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The U.S. Commerce Department is raising concerns over a plan to create hundreds of new domain names as alternatives to ".com."

The Internet's top oversight body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, had planned to start accepting bids for new Internet suffixes early next year, such as ".nyc" or ".bank."

Meredith Baker of the Commerce Department's telecommunications division sent ICANN a letter saying it wasn't clear whether the potential consumer benefits outweigh the potential costs.

Baker's concerns include whether companies operating the new domain name registries would have too much market power and could raise prices on domain names. An ICANN representative could not be reached for comment.

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