AT&T, Superpages Announce Distribution Deal

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In a significant move, AT&T Interactive and Idearc Media announced today that they will extend each other’s reach by allowing business profiles on one site to be distributed on the other.

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Here is a quote from the press release:

“Cross distribution of advertisers across YELLOWPAGES.COM and SUPERPAGES.COM creates even greater value for each company’s advertisers,” said David Krantz, president and CEO of AT&T Interactive. “Ad networks and distribution are critical elements for digital advertising. Extending our local search ad network through this agreement helps us to connect advertisers with more consumers.”

We believe this deal is driven by the following expected benefits:

  • The deal will help reduce the amount of excess traffic the two publishers are currently buying through existing distribution deals.
  • The two can negotiate more effective traffic deals by working together.
  • The agreement creates another incentive for advertisers to sign up — if they buy one site, they get access to traffic on the other.

The deal raises some intriguing questions. First, is this agreement the beginning of a deeper relationship between the two entities, such as a shared technology platform? Something of that order could make sense, particularly in a challenging financial environment. Another question is how this deal affects other players in the U.S. IYP arena, notably R.H. Donnelley, which could be left at a disadvantage in acquiring traffic now that AT&T and Idearc are cross-distributing their advertisers.

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