Google and Amazon have started making deals to settle their new gTLD contention sets.
Google won three contention sets against Amazon this week, judging by the latest withdrawals, while Amazon won two.
Amazon won .talk and .you after Google, the only other applicant, withdrew.
Neither company appears to have a “You” brand, unless you count YouTube, but the .talk settlement strongly suggests that Google Talk, the company’s instant messaging client, is on the way out.
When Google applied for .talk in 2012 it intended to give Talk users custom domains to act as a contact point, but in 2013 Google started to indicate that it will be replaced as a brand by Google Hangouts.
The withdrawal seems to suggest that the existence of a gTLD application, a relatively small investment, is not an overwhelming factor when companies consider product rebranding.
I wonder what effect a live, active TLD will have on similar decisions in future.
But Google won the two-horse races for .dev and .drive and after Amazon withdrew its applications.
Google has a product called Google Drive, while Amazon runs Amazon Cloud Drive. Both companies have developer programs, though Google’s is arguably the more substantial of the two.
Google has also won .play — Google Play is its app store — after Amazon, Radix and Star Registry’s withdrawals. Amazon does not have a Play brand.
Google has also withdrawn its application for .book, leaving six remaining applicants, including Amazon, in the contention set.
I don’t currently know whether these contention sets were settled privately or via a third-party auction.