Google's M&A Guy: It Might Have Been OK If Google Bought Groupon

David Lawee

Google famously tried to buy Groupon for $5.75 billion. No dice: Groupon went for an IPO instead. As a public company, it’s currently worth $4.7 billion.

At a conference, David Lawee, Google’s vice president of corporate development, took a question about whether Google was glad, in retrospect, that the deal didn’t go through.

Surprisingly, no, he told attendees at Fortune Brainstorm in Aspen, Colo.

Officially, he said that it’s “hard to do retrospective analysis on things” that Google didn’t do. But he also said, “It is unpredictable how things are going to work out” and what an acquired company would do “inside Google versus on their own.”

Groupon turned down Google largely because of the risk that regulators might nix the deal after a prolonged review—a period of uncertainty which could have badly hurt the company.

Google launched its own daily-deal product, Offers, which hasn’t made much of an impact.

Given where Groupon’s share price is and where Google is in the daily-deals market, though, it’s very interesting to think about what might have been.

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