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YellowPages.com to List on AOL

America Online announced Wednesday it will use advertising from the online Yellow Pages of SBC Communications and BellSouth to increase its local search presence around the country.

Yellowpages.com, a joint venture between SBC and BellSouth that includes SBC's Smartpages.com and BellSouth's RealPages.com, will now be listed on AOL.

AOL says local search continues to be a growth opportunity for directory publishers and an important sector of broader Internet search services it offers through its Yellow Pages product.

"We're committed to providing AOL audiences with the very best in local search and directory products, and we're pleased to bring the YellowPages.com advertiser content portfolio to our popular brands and services," said Jim Riesenbach, senior vice president of AOL Search and Directional Media Group, in a statement.

Research firm Kelsey Group estimates that 70 percent of U.S. households use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and services.

"YellowPages.com shares our strong consumer focus, and by leveraging their high-quality assets we can enrich the AOL Yellow Pages product that's available across the AOL Network and even better meet the needs of online consumers who want to find local resources," Riesenbach added.

Other Internet search companies have already launched similar local services in an effort to increase advertising revenues.

The ability to search for businesses, restaurants and events locally has become an important feature, as Internet media sites like Yahoo, Amazon, Google and Microsoft MSN have partnered with other companies in an effort to increase their local search presence.

Today's agreement enables YellowPages.com to provide added value to its large advertiser base by allowing it to reach more new customers, the company said.

Charles Stubbs, president and CEO of YellowPages.com, called the agreement a milestone for both organizations.

"YellowPages.com is all about bringing buyers and sellers together, and this relationship strengthens the YellowPages.com leadership position in local advertising," he said.

AOL Yellow Pages provides listing and information for more than 13 million businesses and points of interest throughout the country. The listings are expected to supplement AOL Yellow Pages content.