Advocates of the exclusive domain had argued that it would make it easier for web users to locate - or avoid - pornography online.
Conservative opponents of the plan said it would legitimise pornography, while opponents in the porn industry warned it could lead to more state control.
Internet regulator Icann's chief said the decision was not political.
"The heart of the decision today was not driven by a political consideration," Paul Twomey told the Associated Press news agency.
ICANN cans .xxx domain proposal
Posted on Thursday, May 11 2006 @ 16:33 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Reuters reports the plans to set up a .xxx top level domain have been rejected: