Yesterday ICANN revealed applications from about 500 companies for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) that could devalue the coveted .com extension and open up a barrage of legal issues. The close to 2,000 domains, also referred to as strings, look like .aaa, .hotels, or .ibm. If you notice, there's no need for an extension such as .com or .net because the gTLDs are essentially the same thing -- except anyone can purchase them. But before you plan on buying .yourname you might want to know how much the gTLDs cost.
A single string such as .canon costs $185,000 plus an estimated $25k per year to renew. The gTLDs, as you would imagine, are not for everyone.
There will also be a host of legal issues concerning who has the rights to own which gTLD. For example, there are seven separate competing applications for the top-level domain .news. And, four separate entities want the string .pizza. The list from ICANN also reveals the U.S. is clearly betting on the future value of gTLDs. Of the 1,900 applications under review, nearly half of them are from the United States.
For a list of the revealed gTLDs view this ICANN webpage.