Interchange to Launch '' Destination

According to a news release, Interchange, which recently acquired Swedish Local Search technology platform Inspire AB, announced that it had secured the domain "" for US$700,000.

It will use the Inspire technology, as well as its own, to support the new destination site. American Town Network owns and PremierGuide owns

According to the release, Interchange will develop into a global local search consumer destination. The site is slated to launch in the second half of 2005.

That's a lot less than the estimated US$100 million that SBC and BellSouth paid for And, in the end, it could prove to be an equally powerful brand — depends on what's behind it.

On the one hand you could launch "," and if you created a great site and functionality, the brand and traffic could presumably follow (a la Google). However, an intitutive URL can be a very powerful asset. had considerable "organic" traffic on the basis of the URL (it effectively owns the YP brand online). But SuperPages and Yahoo! Yellow Pages, for example, consistently drew more visitors, according to comScore. had a great URL but was unable to deliver a great user experience (we'll see what the new owners can do). is great start. Let's see what Interchange can do with it.

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