Google has allegedly acquired Groupon for $2.5 billion, giving it a major weapon in the local deals war with Yahoo, Facebook and other Internet powers.
Google has allegedly acquired local deals startup Groupon for $2.5 billion,
which would mark the company's second-largest acquisition, after its $3.1
billion DoubleClick deal.
an "unnamed insider" confirming the deal,
though Google declined to comment "on rumor or speculation" for
, with 20 million
subscribers and a $1 billion valuation, did not respond to eWEEK's request for
comment as of this writing.
that Neeraj Arora, who leads Google's mergers and acquisitions
activity, and Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, were
quite chatty on Twitter about something.
Groupon offers users daily deals and discounts based on their location. For
example, when users sign up and offer their location, they receive offers in
their e-mail inbox.
Today's offer for New York City-based subscribers, for example, was for the
chance to buy $40 worth of books from Simon & Schuster's online Webstore
Users print up the vouchers or call them up on their mobile devices and
bring them to participating stores to claim their deals. Users may share these
offers with friends via e-mail or through Facebook and Twitter.
While VatorNews offered no more details, it managed to rekindle rumors last
touched off by All Things Digital on Nov. 19 when the blog said
Google offered $2 billion to $3 billion for the startup.
At the micro level, Groupon would tuck in well with Google's recent
e-commerce efforts. Google on Nov. 17 launched Boutiques.com
, a shopping comparison Website that
leverages machine learning and computer vision to help users find and buy
clothes and shoes online.
Two days before that launch, Google unveiled
an improved Google Product Search service, partnering
with retail giants such as Best Buy and Williams-Sonoma to surface goods for
online shoppers who are nearby.
At the macro level, Groupon would boost Google's local search efforts to
keep people visiting its properties and seeing or clicking on ads.
Google may have competition from other suitors. All Things Digital reported
in early October that Yahoo was negotiating its own deal
to buy Groupon for $1.7 billion, but
Groupon ultimately backed out of the deal.
There's no doubt the local offers space is heating up, buoyed by holiday
sales on Amazon.com, eBay and other e-commerce Websites in the wake of Black
Friday and Cyber Monday.
Yahoo at the Web 2.0 Summit on Nov. 16 unveiled
Yahoo Local Offers, which offers Groupon-like service,
with Groupon as a partner. Facebook meanwhile launched
Facebook Deals on Nov. 3 to throw its hat in the
location-based shopping ring.