Groupon Acquiring Before Being Acquired

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grouponADOTAS – Geez, Google, will you just hurry up and buy Groupon? Yeah, with a rumored $6 billion price tag, it’s going to be your biggest purchase ever (even bigger than DoubleClick, which Big G shoveled out $3.1 billion for), but I’m so sick of seeing all the gossipy headlines and tech media people offering advice on what to do if/when you decide to buy Groupon.

Oh, The Wall Street Journal says the holdup is on Groupon’s side, as its board of directors (many of whom also have sunk cash into the daily discount monster) will discuss Google’s offer via a conference call today. Apparently there’s disagreement over the company’s future as some directors would like to push for an initial public offering.

Whatever the case, Google’s looming offer has not stopped the discount-master from building its empire through the acquisitions of uBuyiBuy, Beeconomic and Atlaspost, three Asian deal sites. The purchases give Groupon a presence in Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Taiwan.

And Groupon keeps developing new services — a company blog previews Groupon Stores, which allow merchants to setup an e-commerce presence for free on Groupon and launch deals whenever, as well as the Deal Feed, a user-customized steam of deals based on a user’s likes and recommendations from Groupon. These features will initially be tested in Chicago, Dallas and Seattle.

Last week the dealmaker introduced was “Grouponicus,” which gives you half off of ancient Roman entertainment such as gladiator battles at the coliseum or visits to the vomitorium. Oh wait, it’s actually Groupon’s made-up holiday (and apparently has nothing to do with Saturnalia, dammit) to encourage consumers to buy “experiences” (i.e., Groupons that stay valid for five weeks) for friends and family instead of lame old gifts.

The patron saint of Grouponicus is Groupo, the Bargain Bird, who rings a bell, carries a rapier and seems to have a snake for a tail… Obviously the bell gets consumer attention about Groupon deals, the rapier is to coerce them into buying in and the snake bites the asses of retailers that set up the Groupons.

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