Google Buyout of UK’s Yell Rumor Returns

There are some obvious reasons that Google won’t buy a traditional yellow pages company:

  • Culture conflict
  • Overhead
  • Inefficient as a means of accomplishing Google objectives

Yet the persistent rumor that Google would buy UK yellow pages publisher Yell has surfaced again. This is probably a reaction to the decline of Yell’s market value. I suppose if the company were cheap enough Google (or someone else) might be tempted.

Yell, among other assets, owns publisher Yellow Book in the US, which has an estimated 400K advertisers and almost 6K sales reps. The reps and the SMB relationships would be nice but the cost and ongoing overhead would not be worth it from Google’s point of view — in my opinion.

8 Responses to “Google Buyout of UK’s Yell Rumor Returns”

  1. Doug Mehus Says:

    I concur 100%, Greg. Buying a yellow pages publisher, even with their impressive web presence, is horribly inefficient for Google or even Yahoo!. Neither of those two will buy them. More likely, they’ll do lucrative partnerships with the publishers rather than outright buyouts.

    Earlier this year, I suspected Yellow Pages Income Fund, which is the largest telephone directory and yellow pages publisher in Canada, might be gobbled up by Yell Group PLC of London, England. Perhaps, I had that the wrong way around. Perhaps Yellow Pages Income Fund may be doing the gobbling by swallowing Yell Group, becoming a global behemoth in the industry. There are certainly lots of opportunities for synergies, consolidating back-office and printing operations and all that sort of streamlining, but also in growth prospects. That makes a lot more sense. You’re an expert in this industry. Could Yellow Pages Income Fund pull it off?

    Cheers,
    Doug

    Disclosure: I hold a small, but very significant position in Yellow Pages Income Fund (TSX: YLO.UN) relative to my overall investment portfolio (about 10% of the portfolio, including straight cash holdings).

  2. in.the.know Says:

    I work for Yellow Book USA. We already have an alliance with GOOG and Yahoo! We are being pushed incredibly hard to sell the pay per click products. They have even threatened the unemployment line for those who don’t.

    IMO, Yell wants to show GOOG that their reps can sell the internet to make them more attractive for a buyout.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Who has “threatened the unemployment line” . . . yellowbook?

  4. yellowbook boss Says:

    Hello “in the know”…..shouldn’t you be out selling at 1:54 pm instead of surfing the net….maybe the unemployment line is closer then you think…lol

  5. citybunch Says:

    They wont buy, but they work to-gether for their google local listings. And pay them annual fee for the data.

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