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Monday, November 19, 2007

AT&T Agrees to Acquire Ingenio, a Pioneer and Leading Provider of Pay Per Call Search and Directory Solutions

image AT&T Inc. announced today that an AT&T subsidiary has agreed to acquire privately held Ingenio, a leading provider of Pay Per Call® technology. The transaction is expected to close in early January 2008.

AT&T plans to integrate Ingenio’s Pay Per Call solutions into its directory service and local search advertising portfolio, including the YELLOWPAGES.COM Network, AT&T Real Yellow Pages and 1-800-Yellow Pages. Ingenio’s Pay Per Call service is an advertising platform that allows businesses to manage their ad programs and generate valuable phone leads. The platform uses proprietary technology to provision unique published phone numbers to track calls to businesses generated by those ads, and advertisers’ fees are based on the volume of these leads.

Pay Per Call technology will provide another lead generation tool for advertisers to reach customers. Integrating Ingenio’s Pay Per Call technology will enable AT&T to take advantage of a growing trend toward performance-based advertising. The move also demonstrates AT&T’s commitment to providing advertisers with comprehensive solutions — the addition of Ingenio’s Pay Per Call technology will give advertisers the flexibility to purchase leads in a consistent manner across online, mobile or print media whether or not they have a Web site.

“As advertisers add performance-based advertising to their marketing mix, this investment makes sense for our business,” said Ray Wilkins, AT&T group president-Diversified Business. “Ingenio’s technology will allow AT&T to expand our robust service portfolio for print, online and mobile advertisers, and that will further differentiate us from our competitors.”

Following the closing of the acquisition, Ingenio will be integrated within AT&T’s YELLOWPAGES.COM and will be overseen by Charles Stubbs, president and CEO of YELLOWPAGES.COM. AT&T expects to retain Ingenio’s management team. The transaction is expected to have minimal impact on AT&T's results, including earnings per share.

“As advertising options continue to evolve and businesses look to additional options, Ingenio’s technology will help us fulfill these needs,” Stubbs said. “Pay Per Call advertising will allow us to serve millions of businesses — those with and without Web sites. We can provide alternatives and additional value to advertisers by adding performance-based solutions to our suite of interactive product offerings.”

“Throughout the past few years, we’ve built and deployed innovative products that help the services economy flourish online,” said Mark Britto, president and CEO of Ingenio. “What we’ve lacked, however, is scale — the ability to bring those solutions to the market in the biggest possible way. Our merger with AT&T allows us to bring our innovations to more businesses nationwide.”

“Ingenio’s technology and products deliver an innovative approach for lead generation and help advertisers efficiently place themselves in front of consumers who are ready to act,” Britto said. “Combining Ingenio’s capabilities with AT&T’s resources and YELLOWPAGES.COM’s strong reach and brand is great news for advertisers and creates a foundation to expand this business.”

The addition of Ingenio further enhances AT&T’s portfolio of directory offerings. YELLOWPAGES.COM and AT&T Real Yellow Pages deliver unsurpassed visibility and value to advertisers. AT&T delivers print directories to more than 83 million residences and businesses in 22 states and has a premier online presence nationwide with the YELLOWPAGES.COM Network. Together, these products receive more than 5 billion consumer searches a year for local business information and provide more than 1 million advertisers with valuable sales leads to help their businesses grow.

AT&T’s YELLOWPAGES.COM also recently expanded its mobile search products with a new Web application for iPhone users, as well as a downloadable local search application that is currently available on 20 popular AT&T handset models. These applications make it easy for consumers to find what they need, when they need it and extend YELLOWPAGES.COM advertisers’ presence to on-the-go consumers.

About Ingenio

Founded in 1999, Ingenio, Inc. the leader in live-search commerce, is helping the services economy flourish online by connecting millions of buyers and sellers around the world. Ingenio applications offer sellers the tools to acquire and monetize customers while providing consumers a means to interact with sellers rather than websites. Ingenio live-search commerce applications include: Pay Per Call®, a pay-for-performance advertising service that enables the purchase of live customer phone calls generated through Ingenio Inc’s online and mobile search advertising network. Ingenio earn per call applications, Ether® and Live Advice, empower live experts to sell their services to individuals seeking real-time, personal and customized answers to their questions. For more information please visit www.ingenio.com.

Ingenio Pay Per Call and Ether are registered trademarks of Ingenio, Inc.

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