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Single-letter second-level domain

    Single-letter second-level domains are domain names in which the second-level domain consists of only one letter, such as In 1993, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) explicitly reserved all single-letter and single-digit second-level domain names in the top-level domains com, net, and org, and grandfathered those that had already been assigned. In December 2005, ICANN considered auctioning these domains.

    Active single-letter domains

    On December 1, 1993, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) explicitly reserved the remaining single-letter and single-digit domain names. The few domains that were already assigned were grandfathered in and continued to exist.

    The assigned domains in this group are the following:

    Domain 1993 Owner Current Owner INet Solutions Ltd Future Media Architects JG CenturyLink Privately owned Privately owned Weinstein & DePaolis X.Commerce/PayPal The Open Group X.Org Foundation Nissan Motors

    As of August 2011 only three domains,, and host a web site. is active but redirects to

    There are a few single-letter second-level domains not listed under country code top-level domains. These TLDs are not controlled directly by IANA and national registrars may decide whether to allow single-letter domains or not. Examples are for Ulster Television and

    Single-character non-ASCII second-level domains also exist (e.g. ☺.com), but these are actually registered as their Punycode translations (which are more than a single character) for DNS purposes.

    Two-letter domain names

    Two-letter .com domain names were never reserved and it was possible for anyone to register them in the very early years of the Internet (from 1985 to 1998). Since 1998 all permutations of the 26 × 26 = 676 .com domains have been registered and they can only be obtained by buying them from the previous owner. In 1997 American Airlines was the first company to buy a two-letter domain on the secondary market, followed in 1998 by Hennes & Mauritz and Deutsche Bank

    Notable examples of two letter .com domains used by large corporations
    • (American Airlines)
    • (Allen Bradley)
    • (American Eagle Outfitters)
    • (American Greetings)
    • (Aurora Advanced Healthcare)
    • (IAC
    • (PRISA)
    • (British Airways)
    • (Bergdorf Goodman)
    • (Bell Helicopter)
    • (Burger King)
    • (Barnes & Noble)
    • (BP)
    • (BT Group)
    • (Blackstone Group)
    • (CA Technologies)
    • (CareerBuilder)
    • (Calvin Klein)
    • (CraigsList)
    • (Cable and Wireless)
    • (Deutsche Bank)
    • (Deloitte)
    • (Dollar General)
    • (Dow Jones & Company)
    • (
    • (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company)
    • (Dairy Queen)
    • (DealExtreme)
    • (Electronic Arts)
    • (Encyclopædia Britannica)
    • (Ernst & Young)
    • (Facebook)
    • (Friends Provident)
    • (Financial Times)
    • (General Electric)
    • (The Walt Disney Company)
    • (General Motors)
    • (Georgia Pacific)
    • (GQ by Condé Nast Publications)
    • (Goldman Sachs)
    • (Grant Thornton)
    • (H&M)
    • (Heritage Auctions)
    • (Hewlett-Packard)
    • (Intelligent Finance by Lloyds Banking Group)
    • (IG Portal by Brasil Telecom)
    • (Johnson & Johnson)
    • (Warner Bros.)
    • (Johns Manville)
    • (Cirque du Soleil)
    • (Kaiser Permanente)
    • (Korea Telecom)
    • (Keller Williams Realty)
    • (KY Lubricants by Johnson & Johnson)
    • (Pearson Education)
    • (Los Angeles Info portal by MediaNews Group)
    • (Luxury Collection by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide)
    • (Loren Data Corp.)
    • (LG Corp)
    • (Lufthansa)
    • (Altria)
    • (La Quinta Inns & Suites)
    • (LV)
    • (iCloud by Apple)
    • (Merrill Lynch)
    • (Morgan Stanley)
    • (Mettler-Toledo)
    • (National Instruments)
    • (Pearson Education)
    • (Ocean Pacific)
    • (Pitney Bowes)
    • (Intel)
    • (Procter & Gamble)
    • (Performance Technologies)
    • (PriceWaterhouseCoopers)
    • (Tencent QQ)
    • (Atlantic Media Company)
    • ( by Abbott Laboratories)
    • (Reckitt Benckiser)
    • (Royal Jordanian)
    • (RM plc)
    • (RIA Novosti)
    • (Standard Chartered)
    • (Turner Broadcasting System)
    • (SM Investments)
    • (Qihoo 360)
    • (STMicroelectronics)
    • (MediaNews Group)
    • (Toronto Dominion)
    • (Texas Instruments)
    • (Under Armour)
    • (Underwriters Laboratories)
    • (Union Pacific Railroad)
    • (Vanity Fair magazine by Condé Nast PublicationsD)
    • (Vkontakte)
    • (Volkswagen)
    • (Warner Bros.)
    • (Western Digital)
    • (Waste Management, Inc)
    • (
    • (Westar Energy)
    • (Weyerhaeuser)
    • (
    • (ESPN)
    • (XO Communications)
    • (YA by Orange)
    • (Condé Nast Publications)
    • (AT&T
    • (ZD Technology News by CBS Interactive)
    • (ZF Friedrichshafen AG)

    Some two letter .com domains are also used as national country codes which are promoted through the private London Based Domain registration company CentralNic:

    • (websites in relation to Argentina)
    • (websites in relation to Brazil)
    • (websites in relation to China)
    • (websites in relation to Europe)
    • (websites in relation to Greece)
    • (websites in relation to Hungary)
    • (websites in relation to Korea)
    • (websites in relation to Norway)
    • (websites in relation to Russia)
    • (websites in relation to Saudi Arabia)
    • (websites in relation to Sweden)
    • (websites in relation to the United Kingdom)
    • (websites in relation to Uruguay)
    • (websites in relation to South Africa)

    Most of these domains were registered by CentralNic between 1996 and 1998 at a time they were available for registration to anyone; some, like (already registered in 1994) were acquired later.

    There are also 26 × 10 x 2 = 520 less prominent .com two letter domains with a combination of letters and numbers:

    • (Digital Domain)
    • (E4)
    • (F5 Networks)
    • (Telefónica Europe)
    • (T3)
    • (Privately owned)

    Two-letter domains with other extensions are less prominent but they are also used by notable companies and organizations:

    • (Allianz)
    • (Dairy Queen)
    • (British Library)
    • (SourceForge)
    • (Smithsonian Institution)
    • (United Nations).

    In most TLDs such as fr, info, two-letter domains are not available.

    Market value of single- or two-letter .com domains

    Only three of the 26 possible single-letter domains have ever been registered, all before 1992. The other 23 single-letter .com domains were registered January 1, 1992 by Jon Postel, with the intention to avoid a single company commercially controlling a letter of the Alphabet.

    Many but not all .com two-letter domains are among the most valuable domains.

    While it is widely believed that the domains and have been the most valuable domain transactions, prominent two-letter domains have only been sold after nondisclosed transactions handled by specialized broker and law firms.

    The value of the LG Group (the South Korean electronics conglomerate formerly known as Lucky Goldstar) purchase of was never published. LG Group missed the first sale of the domain in 2008 from the original owner the chemical company Lockwood Greene to the .com entrepreneur Andy Booth had used it to launch a footballing website known as LifeGames. They bought it one year later, in 2009, for a significant amount. Following the purchase LG Group changed worldwide marketing to, which is now their central internet address for all countries. All national LG Country domains like "" or "" redirect to "".

    The value of the initially secret November 2010 Facebook purchase of was revealed two months later to be $8.5 million in cash and rest in stocks.

    Fights for Two Letter Domains

    Most well known international companies missed the opportunity to register the Internet address that matched their company initials. This is due to the fact that two letter domains were among the very first domains to have been registered, mostly by Internet-savvy technology corporations or by private individuals living in the USA where the Internet was first established.

    The French fashion house Louis Vuitton missed the registration of matching their well known "LV" monogram. In 2004 the address was for sale by its owner Manifest Information Service but LVMH tried to get it via a domain law suit. As two letters can have many different significations the National Arbitration Forum denied the transfer of the domain. The failed lawsuit was followed by financial negotiations. The British insurance company Liverpool Victoria then became aware of the case; its new president Mike Rogers stepped in and in August 2007 outbid the world's largest luxury brand.

    Missed Two Letter Domains

    Due to late understanding of the internet many major corporations missed the registration or the acquisition of the internet address matching their two letter company initials. A notorious example is "" which was first registered February 9, 1996 by Computer Answers and in 2000 acquired by CA Technologies. It is now impossible for the Crédit Agricole or the department store C&A to get the domain name. Another example is "" which was first registered December 13, 1997 by The Internet Company and in 1998 acquired by Deutsche Bank. It is now impossible for Deutsche Bahn or Dun & Bradstreet to get the domain. Deutsche Bahn only owns "" which is targeted on Germany and is less brandable for the company's international activities.

    Notable examples of two letter .com domains missed by large corporations
    • (notable symbol of Abercrombie & Fitch)
    • (notable symbol of Air France)
    • (notable abbreviation for Bank of America)
    • (notable abbreviation for Banque Populaire)
    • (notable abbreviation for Banco Popolare)
    • (notable symbol of Crédit Agricole)
    • (notable symbol of C&A)
    • (notable symbol of Commerzbank)
    • (notable symbol of Chanel)
    • (notable symbol of Cartier)
    • (notable symbol of Christian Dior SA)
    • (notable abbreviation for Caisse d'Epargne)
    • (historic symbol of Credit Lyonnais)
    • (notable abbreviation for Credit Suisse)
    • (notable symbol of Deutsche Bahn)
    • (notable symbol of Dun & Bradstreet)
    • (notable symbol of Dolce & Gabbana)
    • (notable symbol of Estee Lauder Companies)
    • (notable initials of France Telecom)
    • (notable symbol of Giorgio Armani)
    • (notable symbol of Gucci)
    • (notable abbreviation of Hypo Vereinsbank)
    • (notable symbol of Louis Vuitton)
    • (notable abreviation of Microsoft)
    • (notable symbol of Ralph Lauren)
    • (notable historic symbol of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Automobiles)
    • (notable historic symbol of Rolls-Royce Plc Aerospace)
    • (historic symbol of Société Générale)
    • (notable abbreviation of UniCredit)
    • (notable symbol of Victoria Bitter)


    With the 2005 announcement that registration of the remaining single-letter names might become available, some companies have attempted to establish a right to the names by claiming to own trademark rights over single letters used in such a context. U Magazine, a college oriented publication, has gone so far as to re-brand its Web site as "" (with a ™ sign) in online logos and captions—even though it does not operate a web site at that URL. They sent a letter to ICANN attempting to gain priority for registration of this name. Other companies actually use their trademarks in commerce.