Adds Shopping Tool

Verizon's introduced online-shopping capabilities Friday as it tries to compete with Google and Yahoo for local-information seekers.

The shopping tool is available on It lets users perform a single search and switch among directory listings, comparison-shopping search, eBay sellers and Web search results.

The shopping features let move beyond giving users a yellow pages experience and into local search services similar to those offered by Google and Yahoo, which have local search engines offering greater amounts of content than Internet yellow pages sites.

"We have excelled at getting buyers in contact with local services," said Dana Benton Russell, a spokeswoman for "We really needed to expand our ability to let them compare products and purchase products online." struck several partnerships for the tool. Verizon provides the directory listings, which include paid search listings from The company partners with eBay to include its merchant listing, for comparison shopping and FAST Search and Transfer for Web search.

"We decided instead of re-creating the wheel, we'd leverage the talents of some of our partners," Russell said. ranks as the No. 1 standalone directory site online. It drew 12 million visitors in October, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Directory publishers, like Verizon Information Services, hope to use their influence among small businesses to become online hubs for local information. Yahoo and Google would like to secure a chunk of the $14 billion spent annually on offline directory advertising. SBC and BellSouth earlier this month joined forces to buy for $100 million in an effort to compete more effectively in the space by consolidating their online efforts around a recognized brand.

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