Google is reportedly gunning for Groupon, the deal-of-the-day site and app that has approximately 2 million members and revenues of $50 million per month, and has spawned more than 180 copycats in the U.S. alone. Earlier this year, Yahoo offered Groupon between $1.5 billion and $3 billion, and Google is said to be offering even more. AllThingsD reports that “sources close to the matter” say Google’s dangling wallet is stuffed with “well above” $3 billion.
A Google-owned Groupon would fit nicely in the company’s robust portfolio of shopping services, which Google has been putting a lot of oomph into lately by going on a shopping spree of its own. In a September report run by Business Insider, it was determined that Google has acquired (or planned to acquire) 26 different companies.
With all these shopping-related buys, it’s evident that Google realizes that online shopping — especially mobile-based — is the future of retail. Buying Groupon would only add to its retinue, especially when it comes to its latest site, Hotspot.
Hotspot is an add-on to Google Maps on Android that helps you discover places based on user-generated reviews — essentially an immersive, GPS-based Yelp knockoff. If Google integrated Groupon-like deal-finding into Hotspot — and offered more than a small handful of bargains per day — it would quickly reap lucrative business partnerships, up ad revenue, and create a mobile e-commerce experience unlike anything else out there.