Amazon gTLD hit by killer blow
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The dispute over the .amazon generic top-level domain (gTLD) has not been resolved as the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) and online retailer Amazon failed to reach an agreement.
In a letter published by ICANN last Wednesday, November 28, its CEO Göran Marby, who had been delegated the role of overseeing negotiations between the parties, said that the facilitation process has been unsuccessful.
Marby had taken up the position of facilitator after the Governmental Advisory Committee, which advises ICANN on issues of public policy, requested that ICANN help both the ACTO and Amazon to try to come to an agreement. The ACTO consists of Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
The letter comes after ACTO, represented by ambassador Jacqueline Mendoza, cancelled a meeting scheduled for November 29. Marby wrote that he had hoped the meeting would “finalise discussions between the company and those countries”.
The online retailer’s request for registration of .amazon was first objected by Brazil and Peru on the grounds that there “is an inextricable relation between this name and the Amazon region, peoples, natural heritage and culture”.
In its proposals, the company offered “as an indication of goodwill and support for the people and governments of the Amazonian region” Kindles preloaded with mutually-agreed content and other Amazon services and products up to the value of $5 million.
After several failed proposals between 2015 and early 2018, an enhanced offer was presented to a Brazil representative on October 19 that promised shared use of the TLD and to address public policy concerns expressed by ACTO countries.
According to Marby’s letter, the Brazil representative was encouraged by the offer and, consequently, the ICANN board instructed the CEO to move forward in the finalisation of the deal.
But, in a letter written by Mendoza to Marby on November 26, the ambassador requested ICANN to reconsider its decision to push ahead with the deal. Mendoza stated that the Amazon countries “have not been consulted nor have endorsed any proposal”.
The ACTO’s letter requests for the meeting to be rescheduled once the countries have been presented with the proposal.
While it is unclear if a second meeting will be scheduled, Marby confirmed that ICANN will “remain open to assist and facilitate this matter, should it be considered useful”.
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