|TLD type||Proposed generic top-level domain|
|Structure||Registrations at second level permitted|
|Documents||ICANN registry agreement|
|Dispute policies||UDRP - Pending|
.shop is a proposed top-level domain (TLD) for the Internet, submitted to ICANN for approval as a sponsored TLD (sTLD). Nine companies including Google, Amazon and Famous Four Media have filed applications for this TLD.
The idea of a .shop generic top-level domain was around since at least 1999, when an attempt to register it with IAHC was made. Its proposed usage is similar to current endeavors: to provide a dedicated space for ecommerce on the Internet. In 2000, Commercial Connect, LLC requested to operate a .shop registry from ICANN .
Commercial Connect's application from 2000 was well-received, but other domains were prioritized. It was eventually denied. Japan's GMO Registry also expressed interest in the domain, though Commercial Connect was the most invested candidates that had taken prior steps towards attaining delegation. In 2011, Commerccial Connect was reported to have the support of ecommerce companies, with its completed application awaiting final approval as of June 2010. To further this support, Richard E. Last of the National Retail Federation and shop.org joined the board in late 2011.
When the next application process was opened in early 2012, Commercial Connect founder Jeffrey Smith described his .shop as a "hybrid between general public and specific use" designed to make a "more secure, stable, and intuitive" Internet. He sees the domain as a way to easily indicate sites that use online sales, with the application supported by a community defined by entities that use credit card transactions to sell products.
As of May 2012, nine applicants including Google, Amazon and Famous Four Media have applied to ICANN to operate the .shop registry. Commercial Connect is the only current applicant who also applied for the .shop string in ICANN's year 2000 new-TLD round. Applications were also received for the extensions .shopping, .store, .buy, and names with similar meanings in non-Latin languages, and ICANN indicated that they would not create extensions that will confuse users. This so-called "string similarity" is an unresolved issue in the new gTLD process, and is to complement dispute resolution.
As of September 2013, 8 of the 9 applications for the .Shop Top Level Domain had passed the Initial Evaluation phase of the ICANN Evaluation Process. The only applicant who did not pass Initial Evaluation was Commercial Connect LLC. Commercial Connect LLC's application for the .Shop Top Level Domain was evaluated in an Extended Evaluation process and passed.
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