A deal is apparently near for Google to purchase the pioneering online discounter Groupon.
Sources with direct knowledge of the matter told “The New York Times'” Monday that the deal is in the five-billion to six-billion-dollar range. Although discussions on the acquisition could still fall through, the sources say a deal could be done as early as this week. Groupon, a combination of “group” and “coupon,” provides customers with discounts between 50 percent to 90 percent off retail goods and services. Should the deal be made, Groupon would be one of Google’s largest acquisitions. It would also highlight Google’s drive into local business online advertising which it has been seeking. Groupon’s has rapidly grown and the company has become a cash-generating machine. It’s signed up more than 12-million registered users and has made more than 350-million dollars in estimated annual revenue. Rumors have swirled about Groupon being taken over. Along Google, Yahoo has also expressed interest and said it was prepared to pay about two-billion dollars. However, Groupon’s founders claimed the approach was too low.