Advertising price cap to be removed

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A price cap on advertising rates at Yellow Pages is to be removed after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) signalled it was no longer necessary.

The controls came into force in 2007, when the Competition Commission said prices for classified advertising in the Yellow Pages were higher than they would have been in a well-functioning market. But the OFT said yesterday it believed this was no longer the case, given the growth in internet access and its usage by both consumers and advertisers.

It has opened a month-long consultation but said it expects to advise the Competition Commission that it should consider releasing Yellow Pages owner Hibu – formerly known as Yell – from the undertakings.

The company, which has long argued that no regulation is needed, is increasingly focusing on digital operations.