The new .biz domain is proving highly popular with European companies, according to initial reports from Neulevel, the registry operator for the top level domain (TLD) name.
More than 35 per cent of .biz registrations are from Europe and close to nine per cent are from the UK. Germany has the highest number of European registrations with 12 per cent of the total.
"Nearly 85 per cent of .com registrations are in the US, but interest in .biz is global," said Jennie-Marie Idler, senior manager for Europe at Neulevel. "Europe has traditionally been most interested in individual country codes but .biz is being widely accepted by companies as a global identity."
Small and medium sized businesses are jumping at the chance to register .biz while enterprises are making speculative applications to protect trademarks.
"Initial applications were primarily businesses protecting their names, although we don't expect to see this in the long term. These companies have already promoted their names under existing TLDs so they don't want to promote them again," said Idler.
The case is different for small companies. "New, small and medium sized companies are registering .biz names. Previously these companies had not had the chance to get a name that reflects their business and have had to settle for their third or fourth choice. The .biz TLD gives them the opportunity to get the best names," she explained.
So far there have been 600,000 registrations for the .biz name which went live in November, but allocation has been stalled by legal action in the US.
Half of the initial 2.4 million applications were for just 39,000 names. These included generic names such as loans.biz and mortgages.biz, plus brand names like cadbury.biz.
NeuLevel has had to cancel applications for duplicate domain names made under the original process in response to a California lawsuit which described the application process for .biz as an illegal lottery.
Companies now have until 4 March to reapply for any of those 39,000 names through any one of the six .biz registrars in the UK or through a .biz reseller.
The names will be allocated using a round robin system similar to that used for the allocation of .info domains.
"We believe our original allocation process was fair but, because it would take months or years to win a lawsuit, we have changed the allocation process for the 39,000 names," said Idler.
UK registrars authorised by Neulevel to sell the domains are Internetters, Virtual Internet, NetNames, BB Online and EasySpace.
Internetters will this week put full information on its site to help companies confused about how to apply for reissued names.
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