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Groupon, Deutsche Telekom to cake EU in coupons

Mobiles hooked up to daily deals drip

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Daily deals site Groupon has signed a partnership agreement with Deutsche Telekom to push out coupon deals to mobile users in multiple European countries.

Deutsche said its users will have access to Groupon’s mobile services without having to download a separate app. The roll-out is scheduled to start in the first half of this year.

“Deutsche Telekom operates one of the largest and most advanced fixed and wireless networks in Europe," Daniel Glasner, CEO of Groupon in central Europe, said in a canned statement.  “Our goal is to work with innovative partners like DT to deliver the best local and national deals directly to mobiles and make it easily accessible."

The German mobile carrier said the deal would "diversify our portfolio and accelerate our time to market for innovative products and services at the same time".

Neither company disclosed the financial terms of the partnership.

Rather strangely, the agreement doesn't cover T-Mobile in America, Groupon's biggest market, although that could just be a reflection of Deutsche's uncertainty about the subsidiary, which it has been trying to offload.

Tying in directly with a mobile carrier could be a smart play for Groupon, as it will potentially get a lot more random traffic if it doesn't have to persuade people to sign up for information on its deals.

With voice and SMS revenues falling for a lot of mobile carriers, the key to extending that bottom line lies in mobile data, and providing a lot of services over data to customers is a part of Deutsche's strategy to move into data and mobile commerce.

Deutsche isn't the first phone provider to think so either, a very similar discounts-and-deals type of service is already running on O2 in the UK. 'Priority Moments' gives out vouchers for restaurants, bars and entertainment to subscribers.

Deutsche didn't say which European countries would be getting the new Groupon service, but the company peddles its wares pretty much everywhere on the continent, barring a few Eastern and Northern European nations. ®

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