News In Brief

EU announces Google antitrust investigation; Google in talks to buy Groupon

Jaclyn Giovis Nov 30, 2010

The European Commission is launching an investigation into whether Internet giant Google has abused its dominant market position in online searches.

According to the Associated Press, the European Union’s competition watchdog agency on Tuesday said the probe is in response to complaints from competing online search providers that say Google put them at a disadvantage in its paid and unpaid search results. Google’s competitors also allege the company lists its own services above those offered by its rivals, the AP report states.

Google says it hasn’t broken any antitrust rules.

In other Google news, the New York Times’ DealBook reports that the company is close to reaching a deal to acquire online discounter Groupon for as much as $6 billion. A deal could be struck as soon as this week, DealBook reported, citing people close to the negotiations. Those sources also warned that talks between the companies could still fall apart.

At a price tag of $6 billion, Groupon would be one of Google’s largest acquisitions. It provides customers with discounts purchased in bulk. Groupon subscribers receive notifications of one deal a day, which is tailored to their geographic location and user profile. Groupon deals on average offer 50 to 90 percent off retail goods and services, ranging from restaurant certificates to yoga classes.

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