Updates to this story
Google is preparing to go head to head with Groupon.
According to documents acquired by Mashable, it's preparing to launch Google Offers, its version of a buying discount website.
Google has for a while now been trying to get into the buying discount game. Back in November it decided to take the lazy way into this market by offering Groupon $6 billion. However, in December, Groupon told the company that it could shove this.
Google wasn't put off announcing later on that month that it was looking at buying smaller Groupon rivals.
That doesn't seem to have worked so it now seems Google has thrown its toys out of the pram and decided to unleash its mighty powers in building a competitive site.
The rumour mill has been turning for a while about this, but Mashable now claims to have hard evidence that the business is going ahead.
It has received a confidential fact sheet straight from the company, regarding its new group buying service.
“Google Offers is a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email,” the fact sheet is claimed to say.
According to the website the layout of the new venture also mirrors and works pretty much in the same way as Groupon, offering users an e-mail with a deal of the day. Like Groupon, there is then a set time limit in which to buy the offer. Once enough people have made the purchase, the Google Offer is triggered and users get that all-too-familiar $10 for $20 deal.
The venture will also include Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Google Buzz and e-mail sharing options.
Google told Mashable: “Google is communicating with small businesses to enlist their support and participation in a test of a pre-paid offers/vouchers program. This initiative is part of an ongoing effort at Google to make new products, such as the recent Offer Ads beta, that connect businesses with customers in new ways. We do not have more details to share at this time, but will keep you posted.”