Google buys .app domain for $25m
Google has bought the .app domain name for $25m and will promote it as "a domain space for application developers".Reuters

Google, the company behind the world's most popular smartphone operating system, has shelled out $25m (£16.2m) for control of the new .app domain suffix.

Google beat competition from 12 other bidders including Amazon for control of the domain name, meaning that it now has control of the new generic top level domain (gTLD) and has sole rights to sell any domain names ending in .app.

Google's winning application revealed that the search giant plans on "providing a dedicated domain space for application developers".

The battle for control of the .app domain was the most hotly contested of new gTLDs to date and such was the interest that the normally private auction process had to be made public before it was resolved.

Record

Google was initially planning on making the domain name a closed shop, keeping tight control over who could resister such an address, but following pressure from governments the company will make the .app address available to everyone through traditional channels.

The proceeds of the public auction to sell the .app domain will go directly to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which is the body which oversees the maintenance of all domains.

The $25,001,000 paid by Google is far and away the largest amount paid for one of these gTLDs to date, with the previous record being $6.7m for the .tech domain paid last September by Dot Tech LLC.

The new .app address is part of a major web address expansion that has seen ICANN release over 500 new internet domains this year, with another 500 expected to be released in 2015 - representing the biggest expansion of the domain space for decades.