For Sale: Three Letters and a Dot for Low, Low Price of $25 Million

What would you give for three letters and a dot? Actually, two letters and a dot (one letter repeats), because Google just bought the exclusive rights to the “.app” top-level web domain. Google paid $25 million. “Google decided to apply for new top-level domains (TLDs) way back in 2012, four years after ICANN, the organization …   Read More

1799 0
1799 0

For Sale Three Letters and a Dot for Low, Low Price of 25 MillionWhat would you give for three letters and a dot? Actually, two letters and a dot (one letter repeats), because Google just bought the exclusive rights to the “.app” top-level web domain.

Google paid $25 million.

“Google decided to apply for new top-level domains (TLDs) way back in 2012, four years after ICANN, the organization that controls the world’s domain names, decided to expand the overall number of generic TLDs,” according to Business Insider. “Google applied for dozens at the time, including .docs, .android, .free, .fyi, .foo, and — of course — .app.”

Since June of last year, ICANN has been slowly but surely auctioning off a variety of domains in what can only be described as a competitive and expensive process. Google’s $25 million for .app is so far the most any company has paid in one of ICANN’s auctions.

Business Insider notes that Dot Tech LLC spent $6.7 million on the “.tech” domain last year, reportedly besting Google’s bid. And Amazon got the jump on “.buy” (cost $5 million) and “.spot” (cost $2.2 million) in late 2014.

“Google currently lets people register for ‘.how,’ ‘.soy,’ and ‘.minna’ domains on its own ICANN-accredited domain registry,” according to Business Insider. “It also plans to be the registry for the top-level domains ‘.dad,’ ‘.here,’ ‘.eat,’ and ‘.new,’ among others, and, presumably, ‘.app’ soon. You can’t actually purchase domains like ‘cooking.how’ via Google’s registry (you get directed to partner sites), but the company also has its own domain registration service, which is still in beta.”

And this was Google’s humorous email reply to a reporter about the run on domains:

“We’ve been excited and curious about the potential for new TLDs for .soy long. We are very .app-y with .how, at a .minna-mum, they have the potential to .foo-ward internet innovation.”

Why would Google plunk down that much for — as we said — less than a handful of letters and a dot?

While Google hasn’t announced any specific reasons for grabbing .app, it would provide the firm with a unique way to promote apps as more and more searches move to mobile. Additionally, late last week, Google admitted it was going to start testing ads for apps in its Google Play store.

Considering those factors … maybe $25 million was a bargain, even with the repeat letter.

In this article