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SBC connects with Yahoo on ads

The telecommunications giant and the Internet portal shake hands on a deal to promote their online Yellow Pages directories.

SBC Communications and Yahoo said Monday they will join sales efforts for their online Yellow Pages directories.

SBC's Yellow Pages group, known as, will resell ads and sponsored listings for Yahoo Yellow Pages by the end of this year as part of a growing alliance between the two companies.

Under Monday's agreement, SBC's Yellow Pages sales force will sell Yellow Pages ads as part of a special offering.

SBC said Yahoo's strong brand would help its advertisers reach more customers. Yahoo said the deal gives it access to a strong sales channel.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SBC and Yahoo are already partners on a co-branded dial-up and digital subscriber line service, which will eventually be aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. The dial-up service, "SBC Yahoo Dial," recently became available. The companies plan to launch the DSL service later this summer, with a DSL service designed for small businesses expected to debut next year.

Online and offline directories continue to be a solid business as other aspects of telecommunications companies' business have floundered. Qwest Communications International, for example, is in the process of selling off its phone directory business, which generated $1.6 billion in revenue in 2001.

But there is plenty of competition in online directories. Microsoft, NTT Communications, IBM, SAP and Hewlett-Packard are part of an alliance to provide a Yellow Pages-like directory for online services using the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) specification.

"The Yellow Pages advertising market is a multibillion-dollar industry in the U.S. alone, and the combination of Yahoo's brand and reach with SBC's high-quality sales teams and customer service strongly positions us for success in this key area,'" said Yahoo Vice President Elizabeth Blair in a statement.

SBC teamed with other traditional phone companies in 1998 to come up with the first incarnation of its online Yellow Pages.