Whew. The rumors of a Google-Groupon deal are getting hotter. Yesterday, there was a report the deal was done for $2 billion. Today, there are two reports that negotiations continue with a price of $5 to $6 billion being discussed.
Back on November 19, the first report of a Google-Groupon deal came out from Kara Swisher at AllThingsD. Swisher reported a price well above $2 to $3 billion was being discussed.
Yesterday, Vator.tv reported that the acquisition was actually complete, done for $2.5 billion.
Today, the New York Times reports that “people with direct knowledge” say a deal is near, with a purchase price of $5 to $6 billion.
Over at AllThingsD, Swisher is back with her own update, putting the deal at $6 billion in total, $5.3 billion initally with $700 million to be earned over an unstated time period. Neither the New York Times nor AllThingsD say if the deals are all cash or involve cash-and-stock.
If Groupon is purchased for $5 to $6 billion, it will be the most expensive acquisition Google has ever done. Google’s largest deal to date was the $3.1 billion valuation paid for DoubleClick in 2007. YouTube was the second most expensive purchase, with a $1.65 billion valuation paid in 2006.
When we asked Google yesterday about the rumors, the company responded with a “we don’t comment on rumor or speculation” statement. Actually, Google does comment on rumors on occasion, especially when it wants to debunk them.
Also see our analysis piece from Search Engine Land corresponding editor Greg Sterling, Google Would Be Crazy To Spend $5B For Groupon.