Donuts Tries a Domain Grab

A small company takes on Web heavyweights in a domain auction
Illustration by Chi Birmingham

The Internet seems like an endless expanse, but it actually functions like a very crowded real estate market. Website domain names are like property addresses. Nicer neighborhoods command higher prices. Speculators, sometimes unsavory ones, abound. That’s why the auction of 1,400 new suffixes in mid-2013, beyond ubiquitous designations such as .com, is such a big deal. It’s the first major expansion of domain names since 2004, attracting interest from Google and, as well as Donuts, a little-known Bellevue (Wash.) company that wants to grab as many new addresses as possible and license them for a hefty profit.

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