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In a transaction unlikely to alter the delicate balance of power in the global Yellow Pages industry, Swedish publisher Eniro announced earlier this week that it has sold its 75 percent stake in Belarus directory publisher JV Eniro Belfakta, for 8 million Swedish krona, which might cover a year€™s rent for a Manhattan apartment with a view of Central Park.

The dollars (or krona) matter less than the fact that this represents the end of Eniro€™s foray into Eastern Europe (if you exclude Poland, where it does pretty well). Eniro€™s lesson from all this was that the costs of pursuing opportunities in underdeveloped markets far outweigh the benefits. The opportunity costs include management attention diverted from a highly competitive situation in the Nordic markets, where Eniro does most of its business.

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