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Europeans in .eu landrush frenzy

Well, sort of

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The European Commission has expressed its satisfaction with the take-up for the newly-released .eu TLD, Reuters reports.

In the first hour of availability this morning, 300,000 people moved in to secure their piece of the action, according to Commissioner for Information and Society Viviane Reding. "The demand of European citizens and companies will show whether they believe in Europe," she said.

According to the BBC, the league table of Euro-patriotism at lunchtime was headed by the Brits, with 172,765 registrants. Germany was second with 144,271 while the Dutch made a brave show of flying the flag with 102,162.

The domain has been available since last December to charitable organisations and trademark holders. In February, those with "other claims" were given their chance. Now, however, any Tom, Dick or Harry can get his grubby mitts on a .eu, and its registrar EURid reckons the final number of companies and organisations taking the opportunity will reach 240,000 by the end of the year (this figure presumably does not include individuals, if our maths is right).

Although the .eu landrush has proved mildly exciting - compared with watching paint dry - those of you who were expecting a vicious feeding frenzy where rivals beat each other with iron bars for control of desirable .eu domains will just have to make do with the BBC's note that "www.polo.eu domain was applied for by car maker Volkswagen, fashion house Ralph Lauren and sweet maker Nestle".

For the record, Volkswagen eventually secured the prize on the basis of first-come-first-served.

The only bit of real kerfuffle is over www.sex.eu. No less than 280 hopefuls have expressed an interest, 200 staking their claims on the same day. The matter could take some time to resolve, the BBC notes.

Which just begs the question: what sort of pandemonium would have broken out over www.sex.xxx, had ICANN not canned the proposed smut TLD? Phwooooar! ®

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