Seek, iSelect, three of the four major banks and the AFL are among the Australians who have applied for access to new top-level domains, according to a list of applicants revealed by the international registrar overnight.

But the chief executive of Melbourne IT, which handled the Australian applications, says the more interesting stories can be found in which businesses didn’t apply.

“I think there may be a few ‘please explains’ happening over the next few days,” Theo Hnarakis said this morning. “The three major banks have all applied, but Westpac isn’t there. Channel Seven has applied, but Channel Nine and Channel Ten haven’t. So it’s interesting some companies have embraced the opportunity while others have ignored it.”

Some of the world’s largest companies have applied for the new domains, including Apple (.apple), Amazon (.author) and Microsoft (.office, .microsoft and .bing). But Facebook was nowhere to be found among the applicants.

NAB, Commonwealth Bank (.cba, .commbank, .netbank) and ANZ have all applied for top-level domains, but Westpac remains off the list. The AFL previously revealed its application (.afl), while Webjet is applying for its own brand, along with Seven, Seek, and even Woodside Petroleum.

There are also some individual entrepreneurs represented as well. Glenn Ruscoe of Risely Physiotherapy has applied for .physio, and an Australian company has also applied for the .ceo domain as well. Neither Ruscoe nor the company which has applied for .ceo are facing competition for the domain name. Ruscoe was contacted this morning but no reply was available prior to publication.

But while many of the applications appear straightforward, there are some that may cause controversy. CPA Australia wants .cpa, but it’s in competition with other agencies across the world. And the Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network wants .salon, but it’s also fighting against other applicants as well — including cosmetics giant L’Oreal.

The Global Domain Registry wants .book, one of nine applicants for that name, and the Motion Picture Domain Registry is up for a big fight with its application for .movie. Tennis Australia is also keen for .tennis, but it’s up against three others.

Hnarakis says some of the smaller businesses that have applied, such as iSelect, have taken the smarter route of applying for more generic names.

“If you look at a company like iSelect, they’ve applied for ‘compare’, ‘iSelect’ and ‘seek’, so they’ve gone for their brand and then also generic terms around that brand people are likely to search for.”

Some others have done the same thing, like the Motion Picture Domain Registry, which has applied for both .film and .movie. Seek, on the other hand, has just applied for .seek.

Hnarakis said he’s surprised there were no Australian retailers represented on the list: “Amazon has applied for over 70 names by itself and there isn’t one major retailer in Australia that has applied. When you consider retailers all over the world have embraced it in a big way, it’s a little strange.

“So while there’s some interesting stories here about who’s applied, the other side of this is that many companies are absent from the list. Whether that’s a mistake … time will decide.”

*This article was originally published at SmartCompany

Peter Fray

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