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.
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.