Verizon just announced [prnewswire.com] that the divestment of Verizon Information Services was going to be a spin-off, not a sale. This includes the spinoff of the Verizon Superpages.com website, which has been recently noted as one of the tops in marketshare and traffic for internet yellow pages and local search destinations.
(Disclosure: I'm an employee of Superpages, so I really can't say much due to SEC rules, though I did blog a bit about it.)
I've been with Superpages.com for nearly 10 years, which is about a millenium in internet time. I can remember back in the dot-com boom when many of us here wished that we'd be spun off, like many of the (at-that-time) lucrative startups. Looks like our old wish is sorta coming true now, although the world's turned many times since those early years, and we're still part of that original GTE Directories Corporation that includes printed yellow pages as well.
Fascinating. This is no doubt a move to position Superpages.com to more closely mirror its main competitor, Yellowpages.com. For those that don't know, Yellowpages.com is a separate entity that operates AT&T's(formerly SBC and Bell South) online and print yellow pages directories.
What this means for directory operators is that there will now be another more nimble online yellow pages company that will probably not be afraid to make acquisitions.
This is also great news for directory owners as currently the online yellow pages charges by far some of the highest rates to its advertisers. As local businesses get smarter with their online ad spending, a traditional web directory will start to look dirt cheap compared to their online yellow pages ad buy.