Google Offers -- A Groupon like service in making

We know Google wants to enter the Deal marketplace. Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., reportedly considered acquiring Yelp for more than $500 million. And last month, it reportedly tried to buy Groupon for somewhere between $5 billion and $6 billion, but was rejected. Groupon has since raised an additional $950 million in venture capital funding.

Now Associated press reports that Google Inc., which has expanded beyond its core search operations into mobile phones and other products, is developing a local coupon service similar to Groupon.

Modeled on Groupon Inc., the service, Google Offers, will offer time-limited deals from local vendors, such as restaurants; fetching a diner $20 worth of food at a local café for Ten dollars.

Google is communicating with small businesses to enlist their support and participation in a test of a pre-paid offers/vouchers program, said Google Inc. spokesman Nate Tyler.

Google has not disclosed the details and the time by when offers will be available.

What competition awaits Google?

While Groupon is Google's most obvious competitor when it comes to offering local deals, the field of coupon sites has rapidly grown to include sites such as LivingSocial and Tippr. Flash sales site Gilt Groupe and the newsletter DailyCandy also offer local deals. Plus every other big player is running some version of deals marketplace too.

What Google has, to excel?

Almost every tool, that can render great deals to users locally. Currently, Google's Places service lets local businesses set up pages where the owners can post photos and other promotional information, and customers can write reviews. Then, these places can appear as pinpoints on Google's popular map network, Google Maps. If these two are properly integrated with Google’s expansion in local advertising from last year, then the concoction can be effective. --------

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