Interesting story in yesterday’s National Post (Canada). The topic is not entirely new, the possible acquisition of a U.S. publisher by Canada’s Yellow Pages Group. The article does provide a sourced comment from YPG’s CFO, and it offers some detailed speculation of what YPG migth consider buying — namely choice pieces of Verizon Information Services (which is on the record as being a pending spin-off) and/or AT&T Yellow Pages (which is not). It’s clear that any existing Yellow Pages player buying either company outright would be biting off way more than it could chew.
You can read the National Post article here.
The article is yet another sign of what we expect to see in the next few years, which is the final de-linking of Yellow Pages from telecoms in the United States.
Ownership of directories in the U.S. is becoming the bastion of private equities and strategic players (i.e., other publishers and media companies). This raises all kinds of interesting scenarios involving cross-media combinations and perhaps some very strange bedfellows.
The rationale for a telecom keeping a publisher comes down to one thing — cash. Do they need it all right now, or would they rather keep getting it a little bit at a time?