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Amazon enters domain-name game

The e-commerce giant, which has greatly widened its retail business in the past year, gets the nod to sell Internet addresses to individuals and businesses.

Add domain names to the list of things that online retailer can now offer to consumers.

The Seattle-based retailer has won approval from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). That means it will be able to sell specific Internet addresses such as, to individuals and businesses.

The news was first reported in The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon is not currently offering domains, and the site listed in ICANN's directory for Amazon's registrar is not working. An Amazon representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

The company received the accredidation from ICANN in December, a representative for the organization said. Amazon would have had to pay around $6,000 for access to five top level, .com, .info, .net and .org--as well as a $2,500 application processing fee. Amazon would have also needed to have $70,000 in available capital on hand, and $500,000 in general-liability insurance, she said.

The registration business, up until 1999, had been a government-approved monopoly. Since the market became nonexclusive, more than 100 companies have won approval to register domain names.

Amazon has greatly widened its retail business in the past year, expanding its virtual storefront to include third-party retailers such as Toys "R" Us and Circuit City. Recently, the e-tailer opened an apparel shop that features stores such as Gap, Eddie Bauer, Foot Locker and Nordstrom.

The company also operates marketplace features where small businesses can run their own shops through Amazon.