There are large buy-outs, and then there’s this. The New York Times is reporting that Google is looking to purchase Groupon for a whopping $6 billion, a selling price which would easily be one of Google’s largest corporate purchases.
Originally founded in 2008, Groupon provides users with amazing local deals (50-90% off) on a myriad of items – from restaurant coupons all the way down to great deals on gym memberships, cooking classes, and bowling. Users who sign up for Groupon receive daily emails apprising them of the latest deals that, if a user so chooses, can be tailor made to fit their interests and a specified geographic area.
“Groupon’s success,” the report notes, “has helped turn the company into a cash-generating machine, signing up more than 12 million registered users and reaping more than $350 million in estimated annual revenue. ”
During the week before Thanksgiving, Groupon ran a 50% off sale for Nordstroms Rack. The promotion was so popular that it eventually brought Groupon’s servers to a halt, and users had to wait hours before they were finally able to access the site.
Over recent weeks, Groupon has been the subject of scores of takeover rumors. Both Google and Yahoo were among the interested parties, according to the people briefed on the matter, with Yahoo prepared to pay about $2 billion. But Groupon’s founders rejected that offer as too low.
Groupon’s management was also concerned that Yahoo’s business prospects might ultimately hurt the company, and that a stronger buyer like Google would give it a competitive edge against potential rivals like Facebook.
Fair point, but Google doesn’t exactly have a glowing track record when it comes to purchasing and maintaining companies. Groupon is an amazing, dare we say revolutionary, website/service, and it’d be a damn shame if the corporate monster that is Google swallows it up and essentially destroys it.