A Groupon deal nears

News sites are reporting that Google is close to buying Groupon -- for a huge amount.

By Kim Peterson Nov 30, 2010 4:08PM
Online shopping © Comstock/SuperStockKudos to Groupon and its baby-faced young founder, Andrew Mason.

News sites are reporting that a deal is close in which Google (GOOG) would buy the hot discount deal site. The price tag is higher than what most expected, too, if reports are correct.

AllThingsD reports that Google has offered $5.3 billion for Groupon, making Groupon its largest acquisition yet. "It will move the search giant instantly to the top spot in local commerce online and give it huge troves of data about consumer buying habits and merchant information across the globe," writes Kara Swisher.

The companies aren't saying anything publicly, of course. Swisher writes that the deal could be struck as early as tomorrow. The agreement reportedly includes a $700 million earnout. Post continues after video:
Is Groupon really worth that kind of money? The site offers daily discounts to restaurants, spas and other local establishments, but only if a certain number of people sign up.

Groupon has taken off like a rocket, and I wrote more here about why.

Sources tell Swisher that Groupon's fast-growing revenue and profitability make that high price tag more tolerable.

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