$2.5B for Groupon buyout? Try $5.3B of Google's War Chest

By RJ Middleton
|  Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010  |  Updated 9:37 AM PDT
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$2.5B for Groupon buyout? Try $5.3B of Google's War Chest

DigitalTrends.com

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In the land of "corporate celebrity buyouts" the Google-Groupon pas de deux has been a holiday treat.

Starting with a Twitter exchange back in September between those company's officials, then swerving around Yahoo's pass at aggregating, then VatorNews' recent "scoop" of a $2.5 billion merge with Google ... well, it's damned interesting.

The most recent "sources say" sort of story is from Kara Swisher, scribe of All Things D: "According to sources close to the situation, Google has offered $5.3 billion for Groupon, in what would be its largest acquisition yet, if completed."

There's a $700 million earnout, as well -- which may well become the catchiest business phrase since "leveraged takeover." The deal could go down as early as today. Or it could all fall apart.

If Google adds this consumer-habit-data arrow to its quiver, and then pairs it with the travel-plan software, ITA, well that's huge enough.

So then it smashes that combo with its own user-behavior metrics and maybe CEO Eric Schmidt was more right than we thought when he said they can "more or less know what [we're] thinking about."

Of course, relatively new Facebook Deals is in this social couponing space as well, which might cap Google's return on the $6B investment. But, Swisher points out, Groupon is generating about $50 million in monthly revenue.

Before you know it, that adds up to some real money.

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