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The Associated Press November 11, 2010, 5:31AM ET

Companies yank cord on residential phone books

Dark days are ahead for the white pages. Regulators in many states are giving phone companies permission to stop printing residential listings since fewer people are using them.

Companies like Verizon and AT&T argue that consumers now depend on the Internet and mobile phone applications to search for the numbers they need. More people are also ditching land lines altogether.

The move helps the companies' bottom line and reduces environmental impact by eliminating the need for all paper and ink for the heavy directories that started with a single page 132 years ago.

New York, Florida and Pennsylvania have recently approved requests to halt distribution of white pages. Similar requests are pending in several states.

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