AT&T (NYSE: T) plans to offer daily deals in local markets via its YP.com directory site. That may seem like no big deal considering the number of sites that have entered the daily deals business over the last year, but AT&T has an existing — and huge — local advertising business that it will be able to leverage. YP.com gets more than 23 million unique visitors a month, and the company’s online ad sales totaled more than $1 billion in 2010 (Overall, AT&T’s advertising solutions business had more than $4 billion in revenue and employed more than 5,000 sales people).
AT&T Interactive CEO David Krantz tells Dow Jones Newswires, which first reported the news, that the company believes it can be “a fast follower,” although he didn’t offer specific details about what the daily deals product would look like. BIA Kelsey points out that many other directory sites — including Yellowbook, PagesJaunes, and Sensis — already have daily deals offerings.
AT&T has tried to play catch up in some other online markets, including local business reviews. A year ago, it launched Buzz.com, which lets users write short comments about businesses they visit and share their recommendations. When I tried to visit that site earlier today, however, it was unavailable because of maintenance.