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Google could drop Groupon into shopping basket

Multi-billion dollar buyout mulled, say reports

Website security in corporate America

E-commerce coupon website Groupon Inc is reportedly mulling a takeover from Google.

The Chicago-based company has been in talks about a possible acquisition, according to a Bloomberg report that cited two anonymous sources with “knowledge of the matter.”

All Things Digital also reported on Friday that Google might snap up Groupon.

A sale of Groupon to Google may be on the cards, though such a deal – which could be as high as $5bn – might not be reached until the end of this year.

Groupon, which has only been on the interwebs for two years, is also said to be considering moving to a new round of fundraising that could slap a $3bn value on the firm.

The company actually started life with The Point website in November 2007.

“We came up with the patent-pending idea for Groupon as an antidote to a common ailment for us city-dwellers: there's so much cool stuff to do, but the choice can be overwhelming,” the company explains on its “About Us” web page.

“With so many options, sometimes the easiest thing to do is to go to a familiar restaurant, or just stay at home and watch a movie. As a result, we miss out on trying all the cool things our cities have to offer. By focusing on one good or service each day, Groupon makes it simple. And by leveraging The Point's framework for collective buying, Groupon is able to offer deals that make it very difficult to say no.”

All of which sounds very much like the type of web property Google would wish to hoover up into its online ad empire, assuming it gets the required regulatory nod from US officials, that is.

Groupon, which counts chat show queen Oprah Winfrey as a fan, failed to agree a $2bn-$3bn takeover deal from Yahoo! when the Carol Bartz-run web portal was sniffing around the site earlier this year. ®

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