Hundreds of thousands of businesses raced to snap up ".eu" internet
domain names, with "sex.eu" taking the prize for the most sought-after
address on the first day companies could apply.
Two months after the .eu domain name was launched for public
institutions and trademark holders, the tag was opened up to companies
other than those seeking a site for a brand, as well as for art works
Within the first hour, sex.eu domain had received 23 applications,
followed by schumacher.eu with 15, realestate.eu with 12 and
business.eu also with 12 applications, said the European Registry of
Internet Domain Names (Eurid).
Eurid, the non-profit organisation appointed by the European
Commission to manage requests, reported fierce demand for the ".eu"
In the first 15 minutes, it received 27,949 applications and after one
hour the number had risen to 71,235.
The ".eu" domain name is not supposed to replace national endings such
as ".fr" and ".de" but rather offer the possibility of a pan-European
identity in cyberspace.
Germany -- which already has 9.5 million ".de" names -- led the way
and was by mid afternoon making up 30.5 percent of the total
applications received to date followed by the Netherlands with 16
percent and France with 10.6 percent.
A Eurid spokesman said that technically anyone who could claim a prior
right to a domain name could apply although in reality that mostly
meant that companies were applying.
Individuals will have to wait until the second quarter of 2006 before trying
to get access to their own veritable European piece of the Internet.
Eurid chose to introduce the ".eu" in phases in hope of being able to
discourage cybersquatting, when firms or individuals lay claim to a
domain name likely to be sought by a somebody with a similar name.
During the first phase reserved for institutions and trademark
holders, ".eu" has proved hugely popular. About 180,000 requests made
for 131,000 domain names during that period and about half of that was
made on the very first day.
The European Commission, which has been pushing the idea, hopes that
".eu" domain names will soon rival the ".com" that currently dominates
the web and currently counts about 40 million variations.
About a million ".eu" domain names are expected to be up and working
by the end of the year.
Just because a company applies Tuesday does not mean that it will get
the name because the application process works on the basis of
If two or more companies apply for the same domain name, then the
runners up can appeal, by rapidly offering evidence to back their
claim and prove that it is more justified than the others.
Copyright 2006 Agence France Presse.
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