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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

Classifieds Deals Reflect Evolving Definition of Directional Media
Charles Laughlin , 4/15/2004

SUMMARY: Two progressive global Yellow Pages publishers, each of which dominates the directory industry in its home market, have made acquisitions over the past week designed to expand their base of content beyond directory listings and advertising to include classifieds. In early March, Australian directory publisher Sensis Pty. Ltd. acquired the Trading Post Group from the Dutch company Trader Classified Media NV, for 636 million Australian dollars (US$488 million). At the end of the month, Sweden's Eniro AB announced it had acquired Gula Tindingen AB, also a unit of Trader Classified Media, for 73 million Swedish kroner (US$9.7 million).

The common thread of these acquisitions, other than the common seller, is their strategic role in positioning the publishers to develop a much broader content platform, particularly online, as they gear up for more competition in local advertising. Both deals also give their respective buyers a bigger share of the local advertising marketplace, but also expand the definition of their businesses from directory publishing to directive media a more expansive and potentially more powerful definition.

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