Google pays $25 million to acquire the '.app' domain

Posted Feb 28, 2015 by James Walker
Google has acquired exclusive rights to the new top-level domain ".app" in a deal with ICANN worth $25 million. One of several that the tech giant has applied for in recent years, it is currently unknown how the company will use the domain.
This sign welcomes visitors to Google s corporate headquarters  also known as the Googleplex  in Mou...
This sign welcomes visitors to Google's corporate headquarters, also known as the Googleplex, in Mountain View, California, United States.
Coolcaesar (CC BY-SA 3.0)
It could be used to promote apps on its Google Play store in a new, more innovative way, enabling increased discovery of new apps on mobile devices.
The price Google has paid is the greatest paid by any company to acquire a top-level domain in ICANN's auctions since June 2014. Google bid for over 100 domains back in 2012 including .android, .blog, .book, .chrome, .earth, .gmail, .google, .mail, .map, .movie, .music, .search and .youtube. The decision was explained back then as an attempt to gain top-level domains for Google trademarks, things which could improve user experiences of Google products and domains with "interesting and creative potential" such as .lol.
Google was outbid on the .tech domain by Dot Tech LLC last year who paid $6.7 million for the right to use it. In this instance, it is clear why Dot Tech would want the domain as it suits their name perfectly and would make it easier to market products.
Other companies have followed Google's lead. Microsoft has bid for .windows, .xbox and .skype among others while Amazon successfully bought exclusive rights to .buy for $5 million last year.
Google has developed its own domain registry and is intending to launch a domain registration service. They already allow users to register for sites on the top-level domains ".how" and ".soy" that the company holds. Google also wants to become the registry for domains including ".eat", ".new" and ".here" amongst others and it is possible that ".app" will be added to these options.