SBC and BellSouth to Create Net Yellow Pages Giant

  |  November 4, 2004   |  Comments

The companies agreed to buy YellowPages.com in a bid to become a local search leader.

SBC Communications and BellSouth have agreed to purchase online directory publisher YellowPages.com, in a bid to become a market leader in local search.

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but a source familiar with the deal valued it at around $100 million.

While yellow pages players have long sought to capitalize on what's seen as a lucrative local search opportunity, none has been able to attract the type of Web traffic enjoyed by pure play Internet companies like Yahoo or Google -- both of which have local search ambitions. The telecom companies hope that they'll be able to develop that traffic by combining their respective efforts -- RealPages.com and SMARTPages.com -- into a single entity, YellowPages.com, with its well-recognized brand.

"To be the leader in online yellow pages, you need two things -- traffic and strong local advertising relationships," said Dennis Payne, president and CEO of SBC Directory Operations. "This new venture gives us both -- the strong consumer traffic from YellowPages.com, SBC's SMARTpages.com and BellSouth's RealPages.com Web sites, plus enhanced local advertising content."

The companies said the combined YellowPages.com site would receive more than 50 million searches per month. A re-designed co-branded site, which will display advertising from both companies, will debut in early 2005.

The new entity, a joint venture between the directory affiliates of the telecom players, will be based in Pasadena, Calif. and have operations in Henderson, Nev. The two companies previously worked together to join their wireless divisions to form Cingular.

Charles Stubbs, a BellSouth executive, will become president and CEO of the new joint venture. Bill Clenney, of SBC's yellow pages business, will take on the CFO job. Debby Slavin, also from SBC, will become senior vice president of operations.

The two companies will continue to manage their local online yellow pages relationships in their respective regions, but will also develop a joint sales force to handle national accounts. SBC operates in 13 states that cover about a third of the U.S. population -- California, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Connecticut. BellSouth has a presence in 9 states, mostly in the Southeast. SBC spokesperson Walt Sharp said the two hadn't ruled out partering with another yellow pages player, to be able to cover the whole nation.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Parker

Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...