7 years ago in 2012 Amazon first applied for the .amazon domain when the range of top level Internet domains widened and became available for companies to apply for. It makes sense – it would enable URLs such as primevideo.amazon and sellercentral.amazon to be used without the need for a .co.uk or .com to be tagged on the end.
Almost immediately there were appeals from countries around the Amazon river in South America who complained that they should be awarded the .amazon domain name, notably Brazil and Peru. Since then the squabbles have carried on with Amazon offering almost unlimited use of the domain (and rumours say a load of free hosting on AWS as well as perhaps a bunch of Kindles or Fire Tablets) but Brazil and Peru continuing to object that they wanted full control of the .Amazon domain.
It should be noted that the South American companies had no interest in applying for the .amazon domain in the first place – they simply didn’t want Amazon to have it and their delaying tactics have been more out of cussedness than any real purpose.
In 2015, the US didn’t help Amazon’s cause and threw them under the bus saying that the governments of Brazil and Peru’s objections “potentially creates a troubling precedent of governments disregarding established principles of international law”… which is exactly what the US did by interfering and backing Amazon’s application.
Now, having agreed to meet the complaining countries in person in Brasilia on the 19th of February only to have the meeting cancelled on the 13th, followed by arranging a conference call for the 9th of March, the countries have said that they couldn’t possibly make themselves available to argue a case so important it’s dragged on for seven years.
The problem still remains that although South American countries have been unable to come up with any reasonable objection as to why Amazon can’t use .Amazon, they’re objecting but refusing to engage. It’s not like a river needs it’s own gTLD – it’s not a country and the likely outcome would be multiple South American countries blocking each other from using it.
Now ICAAN appears to have run out of patience and indicated that they might get around to making a final ruling but have given the South American countries one last chance to come to an amicable arrangement with Amazon. That seems unlikely seeing as they still don’t really appear to want to use the .amazon domain themselves – they just don’t want Amazon to have it.