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Did Google Really Buy Groupon for 2.5 Billion?

The technology news on the internet today is abuzz with rumors of Google buying Groupon for 2.5 billion dollars. All the stories are quoting the same single site – vator.tv – which in turn is citing an ‘unnamed source’ but the story is gathering steam today.

Faith Merino of Vator.tv alleges.

Google has just purchased Groupon for $2.5 billion, according to an unnamed insider who spoke with VatorNews. Neither Google nor Groupon could be reached for comment to confirm the report, but Vator’s source is reliable and the report falls in line with the recent string of Groupon acquisition rumors

I checked the 2 big sites that claim to do fact-based reporting – Mashable.com and TechCrunch.com.

Mashable.com originally posted the rumor as if it were true, then quickly updated the post saying

Update: Google has gotten back to us, saying, “Unfortunately, we don’t comment on rumor or speculation.”

Techcrunch.com has nothing on this as of 11:35 AM Pacific time.

Is Groupon Worth It For Small Businesses And Service Providers?

Launched in November 2008 and now serving over 25 million email subscribers (and growing at a rate of 2 million new subscribers a month) in over 170 cities in 22 countries, deal-a-day local shopping site Groupon.com is the rave these days. So much so that the word groupon anxiety – the anxiety of potential customers losing sleep over the new groupon deal that will be released after 1 AM – has been officially introduced into the urban dictionary.

So as far as the consumers are concerned, groupon is a smashing hit. But is that the case for the other side too? Are the small business owners who are offering their deals on groupon.com at very steep discounts (50% to 90% off as groupon.com proudly advertises) really getting what they desire? Are they making money or losing money on the deal? Are they able to capture new customers or are they losing the existing customer base because of the rush on the deal day?

Recently, Rice University associate professor Utpal Dholakia published a report titled “How Effective Are Groupon Promotions for Businesses?” in which he documented his findings of a study based on interviews with 150 businesses in 19 American cities and 13 product categories that ran Groupon promotions between June 2009 and August 2010. The results are somewhat alarming and quoted in a related NYTimes blog post (below).

Mr. Dholakia concluded that Groupon promotions were profitable for 66 percent of the businesses surveyed and unprofitable for 32 percent. He found that 42 percent of the businesses said they would not run another Groupon promotion.

From boss.blogs.nytimes.com

As a small business owner or a service provider, can you really make groupon work to your advantage too? NYTimes reporter Jay Goltz thinks you can, and breaks it down with some real numbers in a practical example in his article titled “Doing the Math on a Groupon Deal“. He shows you how you can either lose money and get nothing, or make some money and gain a few new customers, depending on how you structure your groupon deal.

Check it out and do the math yourself for the small business or service you have, before embarking on a deal. The numbers you come up with may either surprise you, or shock you!


Best marketing ever? Worst marketing ever? It all depends on a few little numbers. Here is the big difference between traditional advertising and Groupon: Traditional advertising requires spending some money and knowing that it can be lost if the ad doesn’t work. With Groupon, you spend no money up front but you mess with your formula for making money. You can win big and you can lose big.
From boss.blogs.nytimes.com