YOL.com Enters Yellow Pages Fray

YellowOnline.com announced the national launch of 72 online Yellow Pages directories, covering 85.7 percent of the population in the United States with 10.8 million listings.

Formed six months ago by Robert Alan Davis, a 16-year executive of the Yellow Pages industry with Pacific Bell Directory and Southern Bell Directory, YellowOnline.com specializes in targeting products and services to a broad range of businesses and consumers with the familiar display and information format of the printed Yellow Pages.

“We’re taking on the Regional Bell Operating Companies, because they do not want to cannibalize their highly profitable $13 billion print business,” Davis said.

Davis said his business model is unique because YellowOnline.com provides end-users with the familiar Yellow Pages display format enhanced with all of the advantages of the Internet — design flexibility, animation, sound, email, fax, hyperlinks and fully enabled e-commerce sites linked from ads.

Focusing on the small business market, which constitutes 90 percent of the $13 billion Yellow Pages industry — including 3.7 million paid advertisers — YellowOnline.com raised equity funds to start the company and said it plans an initial public offering in 2000.

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