Google developing Groupon competitor called Offers

January 21, 2011 By DANA WOLLMAN , AP Technology Writer

Google Inc., which has expanded beyond its core search operations into mobile phones and other products, is developing a local coupon service similar to Groupon.

Like Groupon Inc., the service, Offers, will offer time-limited deals from local vendors, such as restaurants. Ten dollars, for example, might buy $20 worth of food at a local cafe.

"Google is communicating with small businesses to enlist their support and participation in a test of a pre-paid offers/vouchers program," said Google Inc. spokesman Nate Tyler.

Google would not say when Offers would be available or provide any more details about its plans.

While Groupon is Google's most obvious competitor when it comes to offering local deals, the field of coupon sites has rapidly grown to include sites such as LivingSocial and Tippr. Flash sales site Gilt Groupe and the newsletter DailyCandy also offer local deals.

Google has signaled it wants to expand in local advertising. Last year, it promoted Marissa Mayer, who oversaw the company's core search products to grow the company's geographic and local services business, and gave her a seat on the company's operating committee of top decision-makers.

The company also has reportedly tried to enter the local deals business by buying prominent companies in the field. Last year, Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., reportedly considered acquiring Yelp for more than $500 million. And last month, it reportedly tried to buy Groupon for somewhere between $5 billion and $6 billion, but was rejected. has since raised an additional $950 million in venture capital funding.

Currently, Google's Places service lets local businesses set up pages where the owners can post photos and other promotional information, and customers can write reviews. Then, these places can appear as pinpoints on Google's popular map network, Google Maps.

Shares of Google rose $1.12 in after-hours trading after falling $14.94, or 2.4 percent, to close Friday at $611.83.

Explore further: Google showcases local businesses in a new 'place'

0 shares

Related Stories

Google close to buying Groupon: reports

November 30, 2010

Internet search giant Google is close to a deal to buy online discount shopping site Groupon for as much as six billion dollars, The New York Times and a leading technology blog reported.

Amazon invests $175M in Groupon competitor

December 3, 2010

(AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that it invested $175 million in social coupon service LivingSocial - the latest sign that the online retailer is delving into promising new methods of e-commerce.

Groupon raises $950 mln in new funding

January 10, 2011

Internet bargain coupon phenomenon Groupon said Monday it had raised $950 million in the past month to invest in technology, fund its global expansion and compensate company employees and early investors.

Recommended for you

Tesla driver killed in crash while using car's 'Autopilot'

June 30, 2016

The first U.S. fatality using self-driving technology took place in May when the driver of a Tesla S sports car operating the vehicle's "Autopilot" automated driving system died after a collision with a truck in Florida, ...

US Navy keeps electromagnetic cannon in its sights

June 25, 2016

The US Navy is quietly pushing ahead with a radical new cannon that one day could transform how wars are fought, even though some Pentagon officials have voiced concerns over its cost and viability.

Flower power—photovoltaic cells replicate rose petals

June 24, 2016

With a surface resembling that of plants, solar cells improve light-harvesting and thus generate more power. Scientists of KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) reproduced the epidermal cells of rose petals that have particularly ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.