Again, nothing has been confirmed yet but let’s assume that Google acquires Yelp. I’ve been talking to people all day about this question and the implications for both companies.
A more interesting question to consider may be: Why didn’t AT&T (owner of YellowPages.com) buy Yelp? AT&T, with its large sales force could have provided Yelp with ad sales and Yelp could have broadened the reach of AT&T online and in mobile to audiences that aren’t using yellow pages.
Here’s what I wrote previously in my post “If I Were a Yellow Pages Publisher . . .”
So if I were AT&T I’d be buying Yelp. The sales force could sell the ads and the brand would be an enormous addition to AT&T interactive . . . Notwithstanding the chart at the very bottom, Yelp’s traffic is already bigger than the IYPs . . .
So what kept AT&T from trying to buy Yelp? Was it:
- Lack of vision
- Lack of an entrepreneurial culture
- Too many layers of approval
- Inability to act quickly
Or have they tried and Yelp investors wanted more than they were willing to pay? What do you think?