Google's Ring May Not Have Been Shiny Enough for Groupon

By Sajid Farooq
|  Thursday, Dec 9, 2010  |  Updated 10:34 AM CDT
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Google's Ring May Not Have Been Shiny Enough for Groupon

The Groupon-Google marriage just wasn't meant to be.

In the end it may have been Google's overpowering personality that forced Groupon to walk away from the negotiating table.

But some analysts are beginning to wonder if there is any truth to the report that the much rumored Google takeover of the hyper local coupon site was foiled by a cash promise if the relationship went south.

Most self proclaimed tech gurus annulled the Google-Groupon marriage before it was even consummated because they believed Groupon wanted to preserve its own unique culture, keep open the option for its employees to choose the iPhone over the Android and eventually pave its own IPO path next year.

But there may be more to the story. Reports are surfacing that Groupon asked Google for upwards of a $1 billion guarantee that if the US Justice Department decided the union wasn't so holy that it would get a cash settlement.

The pre-nup apparently didn't sit so well with Google, who pulled away from the deal. If you believe the reports anyway.

But there is precedent for the Groupon request, if it happened at all. The search giant reportedly gave AdMob a $700 million kill fee last fall and Google bought that company for about $750 million.

For its part, Groupon is considered by many to be one of the fastest growing startups out there that could soon place itself in the pantheons of eBay, Yahoo and Google itself. Startups that made it.

And to make it while being able to preserve its own unique flavor may be worth the price even if Google was willing to pay the dowry, which Google's Marisa Miller says could still happen despite everything.

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