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Posting (along with the activity level in the local search world) has been understandably light over the past few days. But a lot happened before that; here is a recap in case you missed anything. Click below to read each post in full.

A Holiday Wish
One of the many reasons the Internet has bloomed in the U.S. is that the administration, under the leadership of Ira Magaziner, former head of U.S. Internet policy, allowed the World Wide Web to grow without putting unnecessary restrictions on it. Yesterday, the FTC issued a very unsurprising decision allowing Google’s proposed merger with DoubleClick. (read more…)

More on Deal
As promised, today I had the chance to talk with’s VP of bus dev and sales, Peter Hutto, who took time away from his vacation to provide some more color on yesterday‘s partnership with Citysearch. Hutto confirmed that the deal will involve boosting the content and site experience of while also bringing in incremental ad revenues from Citysearch advertisers. This will happen through a revenue share arrangement for traffic that flows through (read more…)

Consolidation in Discount Online Travel Space
In news that was supposed to be announced today but broke late last night, discount travel site Kayak has raised $196 million and acquired competitor SideStep. Techcrunch reports that deal is worth $200 million. The funding came from existing investors Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Accel Partners, as well as new investors Oak Investment Partners and Lehman Brothers. The combined company will have about 60 employees and will be profitable on combined revenues. (read more…)

European Directories Expands Poland Presence With Ditel Deal
European Directories has taken another step in expanding its directory publishing footprint on the continent. Earlier this week, ED acquired the Polish directory publisher Ditel from Telekomunikacja Polska. The deal is worth 20 million euros, or about US$29 million. ED is already present in the Polish directory market through its 50-50 joint venture with Interinfo Holdings to operate PKT, or Polska Ksiazki Telefoniczne. (read more…)

AnchorFree Seeks to Provide Wi-Fi at Local Stores and Services
AnchorFree, an ad-supported Wi-Fi service, says it is seeking to add additional verticals to its hotel and coffee shop strongholds. The company, which has raised $6 million and already has 10,000 locations and 5.4 million user sessions a month, wants to serve locations “wherever people wait,” says Executive Vice President Mark Smith. “Auto dealerships, restaurants, doctors waiting rooms … ” (read more…)

Putting Some Numbers on Online Video
WebVideoReport has started to put some numbers on the growing online video space. It joins GigaOm’s NewTeeVee in exclusively covering this space, and has put out some interesting articles in the past few weeks. These look at the CPM rates for a sampling of mainstream online video channels. This includes mostly pre-roll video ads but also looks at video ad overlays, which are beginning to displace a certain degree of pre-roll advertising, thanks to the efforts of companies we’ve profiled here in the past, including ScanScout and (read more…)

Call Genie’s Durance: ‘Voice and Data Truly Intermingled’
CallGenie has bet heavily on building a voice search platform for telecom carriers, Yellow Pages publishers and other providers of ad-supported directory assistance. Now the 150-person company, partially owned by YPG and just listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, has enhanced its mission with a series of acquisitions. These include BTS Logic, an international directory assistance company, and Phone Spots, which delivers advanced mobile data services tied to Yellow Pages and DA searches — including advertising. (read more…)

Yahoo! Maps Get More Interactive
Yahoo! announced a series of features for Yahoo! Maps today, the most notable of which is “drag & drop” functionality for routes. The feature, which Google already launched in a similar form, lets users drag a route to any number of roads or freeways that exist between two points. (read more…)

Clear Channel Teams With Denver Multimedia for Online Video
Radio has virtually been a non-starter for local online sales, but a new video initiative by Clear Channel Radio, the nation’s largest chain with stations in 80 U.S. markets, might ramp things up. The video initiative, using Denver Multimedia (DMM) as its video producer, provides radio advertisers with the option to produce 30- or 60-second videos. (read more…)

Shopping With Yellow Pages
‘Tis the season for shopping and at times endless aggravation finding stores that actually have the items you want in stock. I’m all about anything that can help ease the stress of the shopping experience. And one thing I rediscovered as an essential shopping tool is the Yellow Pages (thanks to, of all things, a MySpace blog). The thing that continues to make the Yellow Pages relevant and valuable in the lives of myself and others is that it helps at the end of the buying process. (read more…)

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