'.eu' Domain Names Top 2.5M in Year One

The European Commission has announced that more than 2.5 million ".eu" Internet addresses have been registered since the European domain name launched just over a year ago. Many worldwide brands now have a web address with the .eu suffix, officials said, singling out non-European brands Sony Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation's Lexus for also choosing an .eu address in ad campaigns. "After just one year `.eu' has become a well-established part of Europe's cyberspace," EU Media Commissioner Viviane Reding said. It has become the seventh most popular suffix worldwide and the third for Europe since it launched on April 7, 2006, topped only by Germany's ".de" and Britain's ".uk." The strongest demand for the .eu domain in the last year came from Germany (making up nearly a third of all applications) followed by Britain and the Netherlands.

News source: Physorg

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I would wager that 2,000,000 of them are purchased as a redirection .xx

Unique names such as tonbridge.co.uk or kent.co.uk (not saying these are) are onwned by people with other extensions such as .info .tv .com .org .net etc.

So I guess .eu is mainly for redirections.

Companies and people want to protect their sites so that their competitors don't redirect the .eu of your site to their site.