On December 16, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) joined a chorus of lawmakers and industry groups who have expressed opposition to ICANN's January 12 roll-out of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). However, as recently as December 19, an ICANN representative reportedly told Online Media Daily that the organization intends to proceed with the rollout next month. Despite voicing their concerns, it seems that Congress and the FTC do not have the authority to stop ICANN from going forward with the new gTLD plan.
ICANN's proposal would allow an unlimited number of domain names created out of almost any word, including brand names and trademarks. The application fee is $185,000 and total costs are likely to run many hundreds of thousands more. Trademark owners and brands are particularly concerned that they will have to invest many hundreds of thousands of dollars to pre-emptively claim new gTLDs containing their name or marks, to prevent others from claiming them and with little hope of a real return on their investment.
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