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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

SuperPages Canada Pulls the Plug on Eastern Operation
Charles Laughlin , 12/20/2004

SUMMARY: SuperPages Canada has made the decision to abandon its competitive publisher operation in Eastern Canada, leaving 500 staff without work and a more open field for incumbent Yellow Pages Group and a crop of smaller, more nimble competitive publishers. The Kelsey Group (TKG) was told the decision was made by the SuperPages Canada board of directors based on a recommendation from local management. There is little doubt, however, that the move was precipitated by a recent change of ownership with perhaps a new outlook on the cost-benefit calculus of maintaining a struggling competitive operation.

In August, Bain Capital won the race to acquire SuperPages Canada from Verizon, beating out, among others, Yellow Pages Group (YPG). The departure of SuperPages benefits YPG, of course, but also companies like Phone Directories and ypOne that are also building competitive operations in the east. The decision also raises more questions about the ability of incumbent publishers to compete successfully out of territory as independents.

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