Groupon's Quiet Period Ends with a Vengeance, Some Whining

Well, Groupon's quiet period -- when anyone associated with an IPO is legally prohibited from publicly promoting or discussing going public -- is most certainly over. Andrew Mason, at a public appearance at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference on Wednesday, chose to break the silence in what might not have been the classiest way possible: Griping about the negative stories about Groupon in the press. Here's what he said:

"The anecdotes that get picked up in the press are examples of plane crashes just being more interesting and more media-worthy stories than the safe landing," and then, for a healthy dash of hubris, added, "We feel like we've reached this point now where really our greatest competition is ourselves."

Mason went on to say Groupon's largest competitors have "either dropped out of the space altogether, reduced their participation in the space or had flat or negative growth." Right. Does that mean Google and Amazon aren't "large competitors?"

It's understandable Mason might be a little bit grouchy about all the criticism his company has received -- some went so far as to call it a "straight-up Ponzi scheme" -- but really? Breaking the silence by complaining about the media? That just paints a picture of Mason sitting at Castle Groupon with a Google Alert of his name, poring over every minorly critical thing written about him and his company. Which, to be fair, isn't exactly an accurate portrayal of how the media has depicted both of them: There were plenty of laudatory stories run about both of them. Remember that glowing Vanity Fair profile, Andrew? Focus on that. Run your business. There's always gonna be haters, dawg.

All digressions aside, Groupon's stock is currently climbing closer to $18, as of press time it's perched at $17.94. That means it's continuing to rise. So it ain't all bad.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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