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Hibu Plc (HIBU)

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Friday 26 October, 2012

Hibu Plc

hibu response to OFT

RNS Number : 6211P
hibu plc
26 October 2012




For Immediate Release                                                                                                26 October, 2012


hibu plc

hibu response to Office of Fair Trading final recommendation


hibu plc ("hibu") welcomes the announcement by the Office of Fair Trading today that it has decided to recommend to the Competition Commission that it considers releasing hibu from undertakings given to the Commission in April 2007, when it was Yell Group plc. These are in relation to hibu's UK print classified directory business.


The decision by the Office of Fair Trading follows a period of public consultation since August on its provisional decision that the Competition Commission should consider releasing hibu from the undertakings. That is now its final recommendation to the Competition Commission.


hibu has consistently maintained that there is a substantial body of evidence that the undertakings are no longer appropriate. It now looks forward to working closely with the Competition Commission to assist its own review.





Notes to Editors


1.          The OFT is required by s.162 Enterprise Act 2002 to keep under review any undertakings given to the Competition Commission following a market investigation and to consider, from time to time, whether, by reason of a change of circumstances, any set of undertakings is no longer appropriate and should be varied or terminated.  The OFT will advise the Competition Commission on such matters as it considers appropriate.

2.          Responsibility for deciding to vary or terminate any set of undertakings lies with the Competition Commission.  The decision by the Competition Commission will be made in light of the advice from the OFT.

3.          Yell Group plc - the previous company name for hibu plc - gave undertakings to the Competition Commission on 4 April 2007 following the completion of the Competition Commission's report on its market investigation into the supply of classified advertising directory services (published on 21 December 2006).  The undertakings note that the Competition Commission recommended that the undertakings be reviewed by the OFT after a period of three years from the date of acceptance of these undertakings.  This period ended on 4 April 2010.

4.          The undertakings required Yell to comply with a number of restrictions, including a price control of RPI-6% until March 2008 on the prices charged by Yell in the UK for its classified Yellow Pages print advertising; a price control of RPI was then be applied from that date onwards. Other remedies included the permitting of volume discounts provided they were published and available to all advertisers; lifting of a block on Yell publishing local - or "second tier" - directories, but subject to certain restrictions; and Yell to be allowed to publish themed guides - on particular topics - provided they contain only a limited number of classifications.

5.          On 13 February 2012, the OFT announced that it was conducting a review of the undertakings given by Yell to the Competition Commission on 4 April 2007. On 10 August 2012, the OFT announced its provisional recommendation to the Competition Commission that hibu be released from its undertakings.

6.          There is no fixed timetable in which a review of undertakings must be completed.  However, the OFT and Competition Commission will endeavour to conduct each review as quickly as possible.



About hibu


hibu helps communities thrive by facilitating millions of connections each year between consumers who want to find products and services locally and the merchants who provide them.


hibu helps consumers find local businesses and shop in new, innovative ways.  Its dedicated online hibu markets provide comprehensive, convenient access to local goods and services.  hibu helps merchants compete in the digital world with a broad range of marketing and commerce solutions delivered online and through hibu's direct sales teams.  Building on its heritage as a premier directories provider, hibu continues to offer a full range of print- and distribution-based marketing services.


hibu operates in the UK, US, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Peru and US Hispanic markets. In the year ended 31 March 2012, hibu had 1.2 million SME customers and total revenues of £1.6 billion.


For further information about hibu, visit




hibu - Investors

Andrew Clatworthy

Tel: +44 (0) 118 358 2838

hibu - Media

Jon Salmon

Tel: +44 (0) 118 358 2656

Mobile: +44 (0) 7801 977340


RLM Finsbury

Andrew Dowler

Tel: + 44 (0) 207 251 3801



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