The largest Internet deal ever -- the purchase of Chicago-based Groupon by web behemoth Google -- fizzled out Friday, with the former rejecting the latter's latest offer, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Groupon will remain and independent company and may pursue an initial public offering next year, according to the report.
Speculation has been going on for weeks, but piqued earlier in the week when Vator.tv reported that a rumored deal between the companies was complete. Google, however, refused to confirm or deny the report.
"We don't comment on rumor or speculation," said Google spokeswoman Aaron Zamost.
Price of the deal ranged from $2.5 billion to more than $6 billion, and while huge, may have undervalued the deal-of-the-day company. Technology website AllThingsD reported Friday that Groupon pulls in about $2 billion in revenue every year, far greater than the $500 million figure that's been quoted.
As a privately held company, Groupon does not have to disclose its financial information.
Founded two years ago, Groupon sends daily messages to users in 300 markets, offering discounts on products and services. The company keeps a 50 percent cut of every deal sold, while businesses benefit from a rise in new customers.
Deals, known as groupons, activate when a certain number is sold, encouraging users to recommend offers to friends.