Google couldn’t buy Groupon, so instead it’s going to try and clone it.Mashable reports that Google is launching a daily deals service called Google Offers that will work almost exactly like Groupon, Livingsocial, and the countless other deals sites out there. Users will sign up to receive a daily email about an offer in their area. If enough users agree to the offer, it triggers the deal to go through.
Apparently Google will hold 80% of the business’s revenue share for three days, and the remaining 20% for another 60 days to cover refunds.
Google has released a canned statement that basically confirms Offers is real — apparently Google sent information about the project to small businesses to test their interest. Somehow, one of the confidential fact sheets ended up with Mashable, which published it. (It’s duplicated here.)
The daily deals market is already crowded, but Google has the traffic and advertising relationships to make a serious run in the space. Still, it points to a certain lack of innovation at the company right now.