May 3, 2011, 4:01 PM

AT&T challenges Groupon with a daily-deal offering

YP.com deals initially will launch in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth.

Allison Enright

Editor

Lead Photo

A screenshot of YP.com, where consumers will be able to find daily deals.

YP.com, the online version of the Yellow Pages phone book owned by telecommunications company AT&T Inc., will begin offering a deal-of-the-day service in about a month to consumers in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth. The company says it plans to launch operations in more cities and also offer national deals. With this move, AT&T enters an increasingly crowded daily-deal market led by Groupon and LivingSocial that’s recently attracted offerings from such online giants as Facebook and Google.

According to details listed on YP.com, the daily-deal program resembles the one offered by Groupon, with a minimum number of consumers having to purchase an offer before it kicks in. The YP.com site also encourages consumers to spread the word about offers via e-mail and the Facebook social network.

Consumers who register through May 22 for the program receive a $10 credit toward their first daily-deal purchase from the site. Offers will be distributed by e-mail every morning and come from businesses in the dining, personal care, home services, entertainment and travel categories.

 “Given AT&T’s unique assets and reach in local search, entrance into the daily deals marketplace is a natural opportunity to expand a nearly $1 billion local advertising business and offer another way for merchants to connect with consumers,” an AT&T spokeswoman says. She says deals build on existing savings already offered via coupons on YP.com and its mobile apps; AT&T plans to integrate deal-of-the-day offers into existing YP mobile apps, she adds. The official name of the daily-deal program has yet to be determined, the spokeswoman says.

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