Under the terms of the acquisition, LiveDeal shareholders received 15,968,514 shares of YP common stock. LiveDeal will remain an independent entity and a wholly owned subsidiary of YP and the two companies will leverage one another’s content, sales teams and technology to strengthen their individual product offerings.
YP plans to use LiveDeal’s innovative technology platform to converge its four principal marketing channels – directories, mobile services, classifieds and advertising/distribution networks into a first-of-its–kind, hyper-local marketing solution for businesses and consumers.
The acquisition also enables YP to enrich its products with LiveDeal’s robust online local classifieds marketplace, which has more than a million goods and services listed for sale, in every city and zip code across the U.S. LiveDeal offers such industry-leading classifieds functionality as fraud protection, identity protection, e-commerce, listing enhancements, photos, community-building, package pricing, premium stores, featured Yellow Page business listings and advanced local search capabilities. Additionally, the LiveDeal technology lets consumers search or browse for items in a particular city, state or zip code.
The combination of classifieds and yellow pages presents a powerful opportunity over the long term. There’s something of an artificial separation between classifieds and directories, owing to the history of newspapers and yellow pages offline. This kind of deal brings the two local ad categories together.
I was told that both the YP.com and LiveDeal sites would continue to operate, although over time the LiveDeal brand will likely be the one that is used, paving the way for the inclusion of additional “shopping” categories. In Canada, directory publisher Yellow Pages Group has made aggressive moves into online classifieds.
As I mentioned in my SEL post, the category “classifieds” (which includes verticals jobs, cars and real estate) is the third largest Internet ad category, capturing 18 percent of online ad spending according to the IAB, behind only display and search. Traditional U.S. directory and classifieds ad revenues were worth more than $30 billion in 2006.
YP Corp. a couple of years ago was the subject of numerous complaints for dubious advertiser acquisition practices, which I was assured were abandoned in favor of more traditional telephone sales.
The all-stock transaction was valued at approximately $12 million.