Yahoo Inc. has acquired Upcoming.org, an online event planning site that's expected to infuse the Internet powerhouse with more content about local communities.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company confirmed the deal late Tuesday without disclosing financial terms of the acquisition.
Los Angeles-based Upcoming acts as a social calendar that depends on its users to post free listings about a wide range of upcoming events, from local rock concerts to picnics in the park.
The site, founded by Andy Baio, provides tools that enable users to share observations about the events and identify common areas of interests.
Yahoo plans to keep Upcoming's current Web site separate, but eventually will incorporate much of the content into its own site to bolster its local search capabilities, said Paul Levine, Yahoo's general manager of local search
"We think local search is about much more than being able to find a business in your community," Levine said. "There is no question that local events are an important component, too."
Both Yahoo and its rival, Google Inc., have been placing a greater emphasis on local search during the past two years as more people gradually change the way they search.
With more homes having high-speed Internet connections that make it easier to load Web pages, people increasingly are turning to the Internet before the Yellow Pages for business referrals. And more people, particularly younger generations, also are turning to the Web to learn about what's happening in their communities.
Both Yahoo and Google want to field the local search requests because they make money from the ads posted alongside each batch of results.
Because Upcoming revolves around social networking, Upcoming eventually might be blended into "Yahoo 360," a social networking and blogging section the company is testing. The listings about concerts also shape up as a logical fit with Yahoo's music offerings.