updated 7/7/2006 9:17:26 AM ET 2006-07-07T13:17:26

Verizon Communications Inc. took a step Friday that would permit it to spin off its yellow pages directories business but said it hasn’t made a final decision yet on whether a spinoff will occur.

The phone and broadband services provider filed a registration form with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a possible spinoff of its yellow pages business, which includes the superpages.com site.

Verizon said possible transactions include the creation of a publicly traded company that would be spun off to its shareholders as well as a sale of the business or some combination of alternatives. In December 2005, Verizon said it was reviewing strategic alternatives for the directories division.

In Friday’s announcement, the company said the proposed new directories company would be based in Dallas, employ about 7,100 people and would be managed by people independent from Verizon.

Verizon said it expects to make a decision on the issue by year-end.

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