LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today internet history has been made with the acquisition of the domain name YP.com for an eye popping $3.85 million. Little is known as to the traffic volume to the site; however the web site rating service Alexa ranked YP.com at roughly 70,000 implying that it was in the top 70,000 sites on the planet with roughly 1,000 to 3,000 visits per day.
"That kind of daily volume does not substantiate a nearly $4 million cash purchase price, especially with the current state of the U.S. economy," said Matt Panella of Domain News.
According to SEC filings and various news releases, AT&T (NYSE:T) acquired the domain name YellowPages.com in 2004 for $100 million then followed up by acquiring the two toll free numbers 1-800-YellowPages and 1-888-YellowPages in 2006 for a cool $1.6 million. In 2008 they acquired the assets of TollFreeYellowPages.com which included the last 2 remaining toll free numbers 1-866-YellowPages and 1-877-YellowPages for a reported $500,000. The AT&T Real Yellow Pages telephone book is considered the most popular telephone book in the United States. With recent acquisitions to date, AT&T has assumed the very popular YellowPages brand through acquisition.
"So, if AT&T has paid a premium to buy all of the YellowPages domain properties and toll free numbers in the United States, what’s left?" Panella said. "More importantly, who's next? The last remaining property which seems to be growing as far as traffic is a site called www.YellowPages.travel. I received an email ad from them awhile back with a pretty cool 30 second TV commercial that was strikingly similar to the YellowPages.com commercials. With AT&T’s obvious intentions to dominate the YellowPages brand within the U.S., they may fall into a snag if the travel site grows in popularity as it obviously is doing according to Alexa. With AT&T branding itself as the dominant player in YellowPages, if not the only player, while YellowPages.com and YellowPages.travel both carrying tremendous branding power amongst consumers, YellowPages.travel may be getting a free ride on AT&T’s coat tail being able to use this multi-billion dollar brand for free."