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.CO Domain Names Now Available to the Public

The domain names for nearly 70% of the brands listed in the Brand Finance Top 500 have already been registered, including Amazon, American Express, Apple, BMW, Cartier, Canon, CNN, Coca-Cola, Disney, Ebay, ....CO Internet S.A.S. (www.COinternet.co) today announced the general availability of the new .CO top-level domain (TLD), which will enable individuals, businesses and organizations to acquire global, credible and easily recognizable domain names that fit their online business or branding needs. .CO domains are now available through leading accredited domain registrars, such as GoDaddy.com, Register.com and Network Solutions, and a multitude of resellers.

Since it was announced in February, .CO domains have already received tremendous support and adoption from the business and Internet communities, who applied for 39,000 .CO domains during the company's "pre-launch" phase. The domain names for nearly 70% of the brands listed in the Brand Finance Top 500 have already been registered, including Amazon, American Express, Apple, BMW, Cartier, Canon, CNN, Coca-Cola, Disney, Ebay, Exxon, Ford, Google, Hilton, Honda, IBM, IKEA, Kodak, McDonalds, Microsoft, MTV, Nestle, Nike, Nokia, Panasonic, Pfizer, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Toyota, Unilever, Visa, Yahoo and many more.

"Today's launch of the .CO domain represents the next phase in the growth and development of the Internet," said Juan Diego Calle, CEO of .CO Internet. "The .CO domain will create new opportunities in global commerce, content development, social media and other forms of interactivity, which will enrich the overall Internet experience for everyone."

More Than Just Brand Protection...

Many visionary companies see the new .CO domains as an opportunity to extend their brand or expand their online offerings in a way that was not previously possible due to limited availability of .com domains. Recently, the e-commerce powerhouse Overstock.com announced it paid $350,000.00 USD to acquire 'O.CO' to target new audiences and expand its global brand.

"The O.CO domain presented us with an unprecedented opportunity to add a meaningful online presence that will enhance recognition for the "O" brand, align with current marketing initiatives, and make it easier for shoppers to find our products and services online," said Overstock.com Chairman and CEO Patrick Byrne. "Dollar for dollar, it's a homerun and well worth the investment because it reinforces among consumers that 'O' is synonymous with 'Overstock'."

Other well-known companies are using the .CO domain to expand their products or services. For instance, Twitter uses the t.co domain as part of a service to protect users from harmful activity, provide value for the developer ecosystem, and as a quality signal for surfacing relevant, interesting Tweets. The popular political blog Politico is using Politi.co as its official URL shortener. Many other companies have already built sites on .CO domains, which are currently showcased on www.Opportunity.co.

...Unprecedented New Opportunities

Today's Internet is crowded and lacking in opportunities for those who wish to establish a presence online. After 25 years, nearly all of the recognizable or marketable .com domain names have been claimed, making it exceedingly difficult for start-ups and established companies alike to acquire meaningful domain names for their businesses and products.

"For all intents and purposes, the .com reservoir is empty of meaningful domains," said Tim Draper, founder of the global venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. "It's a constant struggle, especially for start-ups, to find a credible domain name that best describes their business or product. For years, many companies have been forced to name their company based on what URLs were available, and then spend millions of dollars to educate their world that names like Afloxis, Bivly or Zoopr really stand for something else."

Draper continues, "The new .CO domains are a breath of fresh air across an otherwise stagnant ocean, and I'm personally excited to be able to help my portfolio companies achieve their desired goals starting with building the best possible online brand. Plus, we save everyone a keystroke!"

Global Recognition

Whereas most other TLDs focus on a particular niche or region, .CO domain names — like .com names — are generally flexible for use in a wide variety of activities, including promoting companies, content providers, communities, contests and countless other applications. The "co" in .CO already has broad global recognition as a pseudonym for "company," "corporation," and "commerce." In addition, more than 20 countries around the world currently use ".co" in their country specific domains, including the UK (.co.uk), Japan (.co.jp), Israel (.co.il), and others, further fueling .CO's global awareness and adoption. To date, .CO domain applications have been received from 113 countries.

Greater Security to Protect Intellectual Property

For greater peace of mind, .CO domains also provide a greater measure of safety and security for its user's online intellectual property. Other domain extensions allow proxy registrations or otherwise obfuscate the domain owner's information, making it extremely difficult to identify potential domain squatters, trademark infringers or other fraudsters. .CO domain ownership will be highly transparent, which will deter those who seek to use the domain for fraudulent or abusive practices. .CO Internet has also instituted a Rapid Takedown Policy to suspend or remove domains in cases where phishing, pharming, malware, or other significant criminal and/or security threats have been established.

"We've invested heavily in technologies and processes that address the needs of the business and Internet communities for greater brand protection and overall security," said Nicolai Bezsonoff, chief operating officer, .CO Internet. "With so much promise and expectation riding on the success of the .CO domain, protecting the reputations, brands and businesses of our users is a top priority."

.CO Internet was required to meet stringent technical and operational criteria designated by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in order to be re-delegated as the official operator of the .CO domain.

Support from Top Global Domain Registrars

.CO domains are now available to the public through a select list of accredited global registrar partners and resellers who have committed themselves to the growth, development and integrity of the .CO domain. The accredited registrars include GoDaddy.com, Register.com, Network Solutions, Melbourne IT, eNom, InterNetX, Open SRS, Dotster, My.co, and Dominio Amigo.

"When a good domain name extension like .CO comes to market, you see how strong the Internet really is and how powerful its growth is going to be for years to come," said Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons. "Let's face it, domain names are 21st century real estate."

Going Once, Going Twice...

With the launch of .CO domains, certain generic domains relating to specific industries, products and business categories, such as car.co, lending.co, adoption.co, insure.co and others are expected to generate extraordinary demand. As such, .CO Internet has withheld approximately 2,000 premium generic domains from today's General Availability and will auction them to help promote and maintain the .CO domain.  The auctions will take place at a variety of online and off-line venues over the course of the next 12 months.

About .CO Internet

.CO Internet

.CO Internet S.A.S. is the Registry Operator for the .CO top-level domain. Short, memorable and credible, .CO is the hot, new ending for web addresses all over the world. From start-ups and small businesses to big brands and multinational corporations, .CO is increasingly becoming the web address of choice for innovators and entrepreneurs across the globe. Please visit http://www.COinternet.co and http://www.go.co for more information. You can also follow us on Twitter @dotCO and at Facebook.com/dotCO. (Learn More)

Related topics: Domain Names, Registry Services, Top-Level Domains

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