ADOTAS – Apparently Google has never heard that adage about refusing to settle for second-best. Its ludicrous $6 billion offer spurned by Groupon, an anonymous source told The New York Post that Google is looking at the daily discounters’ (much) smaller competitors as possible acquisition targets.
With estimated revenue of $500 million in 2011 (versus fast-growing Groupon’s $1 billion in revenue for 2010), LivingSocial is widely considered to be no. 2 in the space — but who does no. 2 work for? Well, while Google was trying to woo Groupon, Amazon dropped $175 million in LivingSocial’s pocket. Now valued at $1 billion, it seems doubtful the LivingSocial kids will want to sell to Big G.
There’s BuyWithMe, NYPost’s hometown favorite with $20 million in revenue and presence in 12 markets (versus 300 active markets for Groupon). Even interim President David Wolfe admits BuyWithMe’s NYC subscribers pales in comparison to Groupon’s 900,000, though he estimates the former company will catch up at the end of first quarter 2011. Still, NYPost lays on the cheerleading thick for the New York squad — if they weren’t doing as well, I’m sure Big Apple residents would never stop hearing about that bunch of bums.
Google goddess Marissa Mayer recently kept hope alive for a Groupon acquisition, though it seems the deal breaker before was fear of antitrust hurdles in getting the merger approved. Google dominates all areas search and Groupon has an 80% share of the online coupon market, so such a deal would likely get extra helpings of scrutiny from regulatory officials.
Also, Groupon appears to be moving on, recently acquiring companies in new international markets and hiring former Amazon Vice President of Finance as its new chief financial officer — a move analysts believe signals an imminent IPO, although Bloomberg has insiders saying the daily discounter wants some more funding first.