NCC in domain bid battle with Amazon

MANCHESTER computing security firm NCC is confident it can beat online retail giant Amazon for the rights to a new domain name.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is preparing to issue 1,800 new domains to increase capacity.

These will be more subject focused, such as .book, rather than the existing geographical ones, like .co.uk.

NCC wants to carve out a new business division called Artemis by winning the .secure domain. If it succeeds it plans to invest around £6m and market the domain to its large corporate customers, promising new levels of online security.

Chief executive Rob Cotton said: “We’re investing over in the US and the UK where we’re pulling together the service which will be live some time in the first quarter of next year.

“This is going to be one of the big areas where we’ll be able to change people’s behaviour for the good. With the internet, unless we do something pretty radical now it’s [online security] only going to get worse. We believe this will be one of the great things NCC Group has got to offer the world of commerce and industry over the coming years.”

NCC is paying around £150,000 for the domain and believes ICANN will select its bid over Amazon’s because Amazon wants to use it internally. Mr Cotton admits the company will lose out if it comes down to a “cheque book race”, but would still launch the service with the a different name. A decision is expected by the end of the year.

He added: “I think it’s going to be part of another great success story for the organisation. It’s going to lead to a tremendous growth in opportunity.”

NCC Group employs 860 staff and has a stock market value of £300m.