Issue: Race for
IYP Platform Primacy
Inc. and Knight Ridder Digital have entered into an agreement that provides
for several services, hosted on Switchboard's platform, to be featured
on the Real Cities network of local Web sites. Real Cities' locally branded
Yellow Pages, White Pages, e-mail directory and online mapping and directions
services will thus be "powered by Switchboard."
Switchboard also announced
a three-year relationship with the Berry Co., a sales agent owned by BellSouth
that handles local sales for more than 110 local telephone companies in
markets that include Rochester, NY, Cincinnati and Anchorage. Under the
deal, Berry will offer its local partners the chance to adopt a private-label
version of the Switchboard.com directory. The company will also sell online
advertising that will be accessible though the CBS Switchboard.com site.
Switchboard's relationship with America Online was not part of this deal.
The Knight Ridder
deal calls for both Knight Ridder Digital and Switchboard to sell display
ads in the directories and share in the resulting revenues. In addition,
Switchboard will offer Web site creation and hosting to local merchants
in Real Cities markets. Switchboard will also take responsibility for
migrating current KnightRidder.com customers onto its platform, providing
KnightRidder.com properties with all the necessary customer-management
tools and sales support services.