Not so fast, Google. Two-year-old Groupon Inc., whose spectacular rise from a side project to 3,000-employee tech star enticed the search giant to seek a takeover, has decided to stay independent. The two companies had been in negotiations, with Google reportedly offering between $5 billion to $6 billion for the company, which offers daily local deals to members if enough people sign up for each coupon. Google was reportedly interested in tapping into Groupon’s extensive human network of sales employees. Groupon was valued at $1.3 billion in April, and Google’s buyout bid, despite its failure, is an expression of the tech industry’s faith in the young company’s business model. Groupon says it will expand its operations, hiring on new employees in Chicago.
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