groupon

Tech news from around the web:

  • Google Music, a streaming service that will store user’s existing music library on Google’s servers, is nearly complete and being tested on internally, reports CNet. Greg Sandoval writes, “Negotiations with at least some of the top publishers and four largest record labels are ongoing, according to sources.”
  • Kodak is suing RIM and Apple over an image preview phone patent. Bloomberg reports that $1 billion dollars could be at stake.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • AllThingsDigital reports that Rob Solomon, the president and chief operating officer of group buying site Groupon, is stepping down from his job. No reasons have been given for the former Yahoo executive’s departure.

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Tech News from around the web:

  • The value of Facebook is the subject of two news items on the web today. The New York Post is reporting that representatives of a co-founder of the social network – which could be either Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz or Eduardo Saverin – have approached a Wall St dealmaker about selling up to 10m shares of common stock. Meanwhile, according to CNBC, Facebook is now worth $65bn after General Atlantic, an investment company, was named as a purchaser of one tenth of one percent of Facebook.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Groupon, owner of the biggest coupon website, has said it has started an online group-buying service in China, Bloomberg reports. The new Gaopeng.com site will initially cover Beijing and Shanghai before expanding to other major Chinese cities.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • US President Barack Obama is to meet Facebook chief Mark Zuckerbuerg, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt of Google  and a roster of other technology executives at a private dinner during a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area this week, Mashable reports. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the get-together will focus on “innovation and job creation”.

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Groupon headquartersGroupon is stepping up its commitment to Russia and the country’s largest internet group, Mail.ru. The e-commerce site announced on Tuesday it would begin offering deals on Odnoklassniki, one of Mail.ru’s social networking sites, allowing customers to make one-click purchases and follow friends’ shopping habits without ever having to leave the Odnoklassniki site.

Chris Nuttall

Facebook Places, launched just five months ago, already appears to be sucking marketing dollars away from needy location-based startups such as Foursquare and Gowalla , according to a new survey. Responses from more than 8,000 local business owners in the US to a MerchantCircle quarterly questionnaire also suggest group-buying sites are failing to gain much traction versus traditional online marketing destinations such as Facebook and Google’s AdWords. Read more

From around the web:

  • Yahoo has unveiled Livestand, a digital newsstand that personalises content to reader’s interests.
  • The Wall St. Journal reports that both Facebook and Google have had talks with Twitter about acquiring the micro-blogging service.

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From around the web:

  • ComScore’s 2010 digital trends shows that email usage is down 59% among teens, TechCrunch reports.
  • Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason has responded to the Super Bowl ad controversy. He writes on the company blog, “The last thing we wanted was to offend our customers – it’s bad business and it’s not where our hearts are.”

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The raciest Super Bowl ads usually involve bikini-clad women beckoning football fans to buy a beer. But this year’s ad from Groupon, the US-based company that arranges group discounts at local merchants, broke new ground by stirring up political tensions around Tibetan independence to sell coupons to a restaurant.

The ad managed to offend advocates on both sides of the issue and could ultimately hurt Groupon’s expansion prospects in China. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Verizon has released its first iPhone 4 commercial, thanking customers who waited for the iPhone finally to arrive at the carrier, TechCrunch reports.
  • Google is to launch Offers, a site similar to Groupon and LivingSocial, that will provide daily discounts on local businesses, Mashable reports.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • The launch of the Daily, News Corp’s news service for the iPad has been put back by a few weeks, All Things Digital reports. Apple supposedly needs extra time to tweak its new subscription service for publications sold through iTunes.
  • BGR has the details of the two latest BlackBerry smartphone handsets: the Dakota, which it claims will “sit right at the head of the BlackBerry family dinner table”, and an upgrade to its Torch model.

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From the FT:

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David Gelles

When Facebook Deals launched on Wednesday, an impressive raft of launch partners were already signed up. The Palms in Las Vegas was giving away a third night free, Chipotle was giving away a second entree on the house, and Gap said it would be giving away 10,000 pairs of jeans on a date to be determined.

When I arrived at work this morning, it was clear that the Gap promotion was happening today. More than a dozen people were lined up outside the Gap across the street from our office.

After dropping my bag, I grabbed a notepad and my iPhone, and darted over to see if I could be one of the lucky ones to claim the Deal. Read more

David Gelles

In Silicon Valley, success breeds imitation. Witness the glut of doomed e-commerce sites during the Dot Com bubble or, more recently, the plethora of mafia-themed social games on Facebook.

The latest hot trend is group buying. By offering daily deals for restaurants and local businesses, a handful of companies have become profitable middlemen between deal-hungry consumers and businesses looking for new patrons.

Groupon has the early lead, with operations in 80 markets and $135m in fresh funding. It also has plenty of clones — from LivingSocial Deals to Woot to BuyWithMe. Now add another one to the list — Zagat. Read more

David Gelles

Groupon is already the leader of the pack when it comes to local deals .

By offering deep discounts to restaurants, shops and services in more than 80 markets, the two-year-old company is minting cash (it has been profitable for more than a year). Its success has inspired a raft of imitators, and helped the company draw in a $135m investment from Digital Sky Technologies earlier this year.

When businesses are featured on Groupon, they are slammed with an influx of new customers. It’s a happy problem to have, especially in tough economic times. But demand has overwhelmed Groupon of late, with as many as 700 local businesses a day wanting to offer Groupons. Now, chief executive Andrew Mason thinks he has found the solution — personalised deals. Read more

David Gelles

It was only in March that LivingSocial, the number two group buying site, took $25m in Series B funding. That, apparently, only tided the fast-growing company over for six weeks. Today the company is back with another $14m in funding, largely from the same investors.

That may seem like a lot of cash to take on in a few short months, and it is. But it pales in comparison to the $135m that Groupon, the leader of the pack, took from Digital Sky Technologies and friends a few weeks ago. Read more