New coalition forms to fight Web domain-name plan

 The groups opposed to the plan argue it could force companies to spend thousands of dollars buying up new domain names to protect their brands. They also argue new domain addresses could confuse and mislead consumers. 

The new group lobbying against the change, the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight, includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the World Federation of Advertisers. The Association of National Advertisers spearheaded the formation of the group. 

“This unprecedented, united opposition to ICANN’s top-level domain expansion program clearly demonstrates the enormity of the dissatisfaction across the Internet stakeholder community,” Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, said in a statement. “The major global industries represented by CRIDO foresee immense damage to their constituents, consumers and the economy. We implore ICANN to discontinue its efforts to roll out this ill-conceived, unwanted and destructive program.”

Brad White, a spokesman for ICANN, said his organization made the decision to update the address system after a careful and thorough analysis of the issue.

“The ICANN Board overwhelmingly approved the new [generic top-level domain] program after six years of careful study, discussion and debate.  It evolved from 45 comment periods encompassing 2,400 comments and analyses," he said.