GTE announces a deal with BigBook Inc. that will expand GTE's position as a leading online directory service on the Internet

DALLAS - GTE New Media Services Incorporated, provider of GTE's SuperPages interactive service, today announced it has completed a deal with BigBook, Inc. that includes purchasing the www.bigbook.com domain and rights to all BigBook trade names and trade marks. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Patrick Marshall, vice president - New Media Services of GTE Directories Corporation, said that the acquisition of the www.bigbook.com domain will increase GTE's presence in the highly-competitive online directory business, while also giving BigBook's customers and users the benefits of a full-service electronic commerce site through GTE's SuperPages service.

"As the first independent, online national Yellow Pages service, BigBook has strong name recognition and very loyal users," Marshall said. "GTE's SuperPages service has earned a reputation as an interactive services powerhouse with proven sales, marketing and content development expertise. As a result, BigBook users and advertisers will have access to a wider range of opportunities and services than they ever had before. At the same time, this acquisition will further solidify SuperPages' presence as a premier online directory and information resource."

Benefits to BigBook Users

BigBook users will still be able to access the BigBook site, but now they will find additional features and services such as advanced and reverse Yellow Pages search capabilities, City Guide, extensive consumer information through the Consumer Guide, and electronic commerce capabilities with GTE's Shop Online service.

Benefits to BigBook Advertisers

As part of the deal, GTE will provide current BigBook advertisers with a Fact File advertisement on its SuperPages service. With more than 4.75 million visitors to the SuperPages service in January alone, that translates into a significant benefit to BigBook customers, according to Marshall.

"Simply by having an ad on GTE's SuperPages service, BigBook advertisers could increase their potential online exposure by almost 600 percent," he said.

In addition, BigBook advertisers can now select from a wider range of advertising opportunities through GTE's SuperPages service.

About BigBook

"BigBook has created an excellent name for itself in the competitive market of Internet services and enjoys a user-base that is extremely loyal to its speed and performance," Marshall said.

The service has also earned an impressive list of over 50 industry awards, including PC Magazine's "Top 100 Sites," Netscape's "What's New," the Wall Street Journal's "What's Hot" and Microsoft Network's "Pick of the Week."

BigBook Direct, headquartered in San Francisco, is a leading network marketing company focused on technology and Internet-related products and services.

About GTE's SuperPages Service

GTE New Media Services, an affiliate of GTE Directories Corporation, completed this deal as part of its business strategy to lead the online directory industry in linking
buyers and sellers on the Internet through a multi-faceted service. GTE's SuperPages service (http://superpages.GTE.net), recently named the Best Directory Site on the Internet by the Web Marketing Association, is one of the most comprehensive and complete online services of its kind. Using its electronic commerce capabilities, Yellow Pages and Web search engine, consumers can use the SuperPages service to research, find and purchase products and services from thousands of SuperPages advertisers. The site received more than 28 million visits in 1997 and more than 4.75 million visits in the first month of 1998.

GTE's SuperPages service began in January 1996 as an online Yellow Pages directory. Since then, the company has built a rich and comprehensive information and shopping tool by adding a wealth of consumer-oriented information on hundreds of products and retailers. By combining online Yellow Pages advertisers with the Consumer Guide and Shop Online services, SuperPages is fast becoming a popular, online shopping tool.

GTE Directories Corporation is a leader in linking buyers and sellers through a spectrum of multi-media advertising solutions, ranging from traditional Yellow Pages advertising, to interactive web-based services to cable TV advertising. The company provides sales and other directory-related services for approximately 2,600 directory titles, including GTE's The Everything Pages directories, in 17 countries with a total circulation of 96 million. It also develops and markets new media services such as GTE's SuperPages Interactive Service (http://superpages.GTE.net), a premier Internet-based advertising and information resource.

GTE Directories Corporation is a part of GTE Corporation, one of the world's largest providers of integrated telecommunications services.

Other sites of interest: