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The acquisition talks between Google and Groupon have ended.
“It’s as over as these things get,” said one person close to the situation.
The reasons for the collapse of the discussions is immediately not clear at this moment, but it seems to center on the decision by the social buying site to remain independent and perhaps go for an IPO.
Mason, Groupon's chief executive officer, fretted that the sale would sap employee morale and alienate business clients, said two people with knowledge of the matter. The people asked not to be identified because the talks, which spanned Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area and involved Google CEO Eric Schmidt, were private.
Independence gives Mason, 30, more time to keep building one of the world's fastest-growing companies, which topped $US500 million in annual sales more quickly than web pioneers including Google and Amazon.com did. Yet Groupon, whose strategy has spawned dozens of copycats, also is left without the financial backing and global distribution it would have gotten from ownership by the world's largest web-search provider.
“You can set up your own daily deal website in an hour,” said Ira Weiss, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “They happen to have a lead on it, but if I were them I would have sold for that price.”
We'll see in time