Google has been prevented from potentially using the URL http://search in the future, thanks to a new ruling by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). A resolution from the organization prohibits the use of "dotless domain names" for web addresses, something that could considerably affect the future plans of generic top level domain (gTLD) applicants.
A report last year advised against the use of "dotless domain names" by companies, reports CNET, requesting them to be "contractually prohibited where appropriate and strongly discouraged in all cases." ICANN states that applications and protocols relying on the existing domain name addressing system could potentially break if such URLs are used in the future.
Google, Amazon, Microsoft and other groups have applied for gTLDs each paying a $185,000 application fee in order to control their own domain suffixes. While some applications are relatively straightforward and uncontroversial, such as the word "catholic" in Chinese requested by the Catholic Church, the first to be evaluated by ICANN, some others have not been as lucky. Various governments filed objections against some gTLDs under moral and competition grounds, while Amazon and Google were attacked by other organizations for some of their applications.