November 4, 2004 8:11 AM PST
SBC, BellSouth let their fingers do the walking
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Based on the deal, the two companies said they plan to launch a joint venture between their respective directory affiliates that will aim to capitalize on the visibility of the Yellow Pages name and assemble a comprehensive online directory of U.S. businesses. The carriers said they hope to tap into the growing market for regional Web search.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not released. The companies said the deal could close as early as Thursday.
The acquisition underscores a transformation in the business directory market as traditional print yellow pages published by local carriers face a growing competition from rival publishers such as Yellow Book and online business and phone listings.
The two regional Bell operating companies already share deep ties as the co-owners of Cingular Wireless, which bought AT&T Wireless for $41 billion in October, creating the nation's largest mobile services carrier.
The carriers estimate that they can generate 50 million consumer Web searches per month through the new partnership.