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Facebook preps Groupon-like service

Let the coupon clone wars begin

Facebook plans to test a Groupon-like service on its social network to link its users up to local discounts.

The privately held company said it would initially roll out the service to Dallas, Austin, Atlanta, San Francisco and San Diego.

Such a move will plump up Facebook's current Deals offering via its creepy Places service, which spews out discounts when a user "checks in" at a local business.

The company's sales team will do the heavy lifting alongside nine partners, which include Plum District, Zozi and Open Table – all of which will offer multiple deals each day.

Facebook's director of local operations Emily White said the service had little to do with hair removal.

"You won’t get your legs waxed with friends," she said, according to the Financial Times.

"You dine out, you go to concerts, you do outdoor activities. We want to make sure those experiences are maximised."

Facebook's decision to get down and dirty with local discount deals follows Microsoft and Google's plans to roll out similar services to their users.

Late last year Google failed in its bid to buy Groupon for $6bn. ®

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