Google preparing to launch its own Groupon

Google is preparing to launch a service, Google Offers, that will notify subscribers about deals in their area.

Houston: Google is preparing to launch a service, Google Offers, that will notify subscribers about deals in their area -- the search giant`s Groupon competitor,
according to social and digital media news website Mashable.

"We have the documents to prove it. The service will send a daily e-mail notifying subscribers of deals in their area, in much the same way other group buying sites like Groupon and Livingsocial already do," a report by Mashable said.

When reached for comment by Mashable, Google responded by confirming the existence of Google Offers but also noting they are still testing the programme and reaching out to

It is worth remembering that Google recently attempted to purchase Groupon outright for the lofty price of USD 6 million, but was rejected. "One of our sources has sent us a
confidential fact sheet straight from the Googleplex about the company`s new group buying service," it said.

"Google Offers is a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email," the fact sheet says.

The Mountain View, CA-based company`s Google Offers looks and operates much like Groupon or LivingSocial.

Users receive an e-mail with a local deal-of-the-day.

They then have the opportunity to buy that deal within a specific time limit (we assume 24 hours). Once enough people have made the purchase, Google Offer is triggered and users get that all-too-familiar USD 10 for USD 20 deal for that Indian restaurant you`ve never tried, it said.

"From what we can tell, Google Offers will be powered by Google Checkout," the report said, adding it also includes Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Google Buzz and e-mail
sharing options.

The search engine is actively reaching out to businesses now to get them on board with Offers. It even apparently has a writing team in place to craft the write-up for offers.

The search giant clearly isn`t giving this market up without a fight, though. With its vast reach, huge resources and brand recognition, it could prove to be a powerful player in the space.

According to Mashable, "Google is communicating with small businesses to enlist their support and participation in a test of a pre-paid offers/vouchers programme."

This initiative is part of an ongoing effort at Google to make new products, such as the recent Offer Ads beta, that connect businesses with customers in new ways.

Mashable also revealed that Google will pay out 80 per cent of a business` revenue three days after its deal runs.

Google will hold the remaining 20 per cent for 60 days to
cover refunds before sending the rest.