Groupon acts locally with $10 credit offer

Dec 19, 2011 By BARBARA ORTUTAY , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Groupon is thinking locally. The online deals site is offering a $10 credit to the first 150,000 people who purchase a local Groupon by Dec. 24.

The offer looks like a response to a recent promotion by Amazon that critics said hurt brick-and-mortar businesses. Last Saturday, Amazon.com Inc. gave shoppers a $5 discount if they used its Price Check app inside to find lower prices on its website.

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason said the offer is not a jab at Amazon. Rather, he said it's a symbolic gesture to show people they can both save money and support .

"I think people have over the years come to believe that they have to make this difficult choice between supporting local businesses...or getting a great price," he said. "Groupon is here to remind people that they can do both."

Inc. is also weighing in. It's giving people a $10 credit to shop in stores if they spend $100 online at three retailers, including Toys R Us.

Mason, who's now been at the helm of a public Groupon for more than a month, said his job feels "very much the same" post-IPO. Though now there's a "this kind of funny line," he said, that gets drawn about the company on finance websites. That, and "I've gotten really into Scientology," he joked.

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More information: Online: http://buylocal.groupon.com/holiday

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