Well, what did you think Google would do? It tried to buy Groupon for about $6 billion a couple of months ago. That didn't work out. What does that leave? It leaves Google creating its own Groupon knockoff, of course.
To give credit where it is due, Mashable broke the story last night. Though unconfirmed at first, it did have leaked screen grabs of what is being called "Google Offers" The story has since been confirmed by Search Engine Land and even releasing the following statement to it:
"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."
"Google Offers" is apparantly still in the testing phase. Word is that Google plans on paying out 80 percent three days after a deal runs, while sitting on the other 20 percent for 60 days to cover any outstanding refunds.
Me thinks that the Groupon IPO will not be so big after all.