Yellow Pages released from price cap

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The Independent Online

The struggling owner of the Yellow Pages will be boosted by the lifting of an outdated advertising price cap on the telephone directory this week.

The Competition Commission will provisionally endorse an Office of Fair Trading recommendation that it is no longer rational for classified advertising prices to rise only in line with inflation.

This cap was put in place as householders nearly always turned to the Yellow Pages to call a plumber or, as in the J R Hartley television adverts, contact second-hand bookshops, so the classified prices were always much higher than in a competitive market. However, debt-laden owner Hibu has seen its shares plummet as the internet typically became the first port of call to find the numbers and addresses of local businesses.