This hasn't shown up in the wider blogosphere yet, but The Domains reported on Saturday that Amazon had outbid Google, Donuts, Minds +Machines, and Uniregistry in a private auction to buy the rights to DotFree top level domain.
A top level Domain (or TLD) is the suffix on website names, and includes familiar terms like DotCom and DotOrg as well as country specific suffixes for the UK, Poland, Libya, and a host of other countries.
Over the past couple years ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has been expanding the number of available TLDs by auctioning off the rights to the highest bidder. Around 1,200 TLDs have either been proposed or sold with about half being specific brands and the other half generic TLDs.
Amazon hasn't shared any specific plans for its newest TLD, but it's widely expected that Amazon will be selling domain registrations to the public. "Why would they close it off?" Raymond King, CEO of Top Level Design asked PW when Amazon bought the DotBook domain last November. Top Level Design owns the generic TLD .ink. King went on to add that "You don’t want to limit your TLD. Amazon is known for being a visionary company, and it’s in their interest to make .book available to all authors."
While the DotBook domain could well end up as being administer by either KDP or Amazon Publishing, I would bet that DotFree and DotBuy will more likely fall under the purview of Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing platform Amazon has been running for the past decade. I'd think that selling domains more closely aligns with AWS' web hosting services than with Amazon's retail operation.
image by protohiro