BellSouth and SBC Partner to Buy YellowPages.com
SBC Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. announced that their directory affiliates have created an Internet yellow pages partnership that has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the online directory publisher www.yellowpages.com, Inc. The new venture will utilize the highly recognized YellowPages.com brand and expects to become the market leader in Internet yellow pages and local Internet search.
SBC Directory Operations and BellSouth Advertising and Publishing will continue to manage their local online yellow page relationships in their respective regions, outside the new venture, while, the new venture will develop a sales force for national advertising accounts.
To fill the advertising gap in YellowPages.com, currently SMARTpages.com and RealPages.com plan to begin displaying their advertising on a co-branded YellowPages.com site in early 2005. In addition, 24/7 Real Media’s behavioral targeting system Insight ACT is served on YellowPages.com.
While print yellow pages remain a significant source of information for many customers searching for local contact information, a growing number of Internet-savvy customers are going online for their local searches. And a growing number of advertisers are recognizing that trend and are including online advertising with their print media buys. The creation of this venture and acquisition of YellowPages.com now positions the two directory publishing companies of SBC and BLS to serve the local Internet search customer and lays the foundation for what is expected to be a leading provider of nationwide, online yellow pages and Internet local search. Through this combination, the YellowPages.com site will receive more than 50 million consumer searches per month.