Local destination site AmericanTowns.com owned the URL LocalSearch.com but has now sold it to Idearc (publisher of Superpages) for roughly $3.3 million. That figure includes a strategic investment in AmericanTowns, which Superpages will help further develop.
According to the press release:
AmericanTowns.com will use proceeds from this transaction to continue growing its database, which is projected to feature over 10 million local events this year, to develop new tools for community groups, and to further open each “community web space” to local contributions of relevant links, blogs and other resources. At the same time, AmericanTowns.com will expand its hyper-local offering to more than 22,000 U.S. towns, giving each a “virtual town square” where town residents, community groups and others will be able to access and share information about their local communities. AmericanTowns.com will also fund some of these planned initiatives via proceeds from a private funding that closed in July 2007.
For its part, Idearc has an interesting opportunity to create a local site that is complementary and potentially very different from the current Superpages site. I spoke briefly with Robyn Rose, VP of Marketing, who mentioned a number of possibilities including focusing on local video, which Superpages recently introduced and is rolling out nationally across markets.
While the site will certainly be used for additional distribution for the company’s performance-based local ads Rose said that Idearc is going to be experimental. “We’ll try different things; we’re not tied to any specific advertising model,” she added. “We’ll try and spotlight local in a different way.”
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