Groupon Rips Amazon's Drone Plan With New 'Medieval' Delivery System

Better Groupon Catapult From Amazon ParodyYouTube/GrouponA top-secret photo of Groupon’s proposed new delivery method.

There’s been no shortage of criticism for Amazon’s proposed drone delivery system in the days since founder and CEO Jeff Bezos first
unveiled his futuristic aspirationson national television two Sundays ago.

Some, like the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, have argued that the plan is technologically unfeasible, while others have said Amazon has legal hurdles to clear before it can even think about implementing its drones in the United States.

Now, Amazon’s e-commerce rival Groupon has a new critique, albeit one that’s entirely tongue-in-cheek: Amazon’s drones just aren’t as cool as the centuries-old technology Groupon will use to change commercial delivery forever.

Yes, Age of Empires fans will appreciate that Groupon says it has found good use for the catapult, a “proven, tested” technology that it says won’t buzz past people’s homes and take pictures of them in the shower. The parody video also includes a fake customer expressing appreciation that she won’t have to encounter a “flying, scary robot.”

While Groupon’s “product announcement” is clearly a joke, its rivalry with Amazon is anything but. Though Groupon’s couponing and e-commerce business stumbled during its first two years as a public company, its board of directors still thinks it can be a $US100 billion company (its market capitalisation currently hovers around $US7 billion) and challenge eBay and Amazon for dominance in the mobile local commerce space.

And if that weren’t enough reason for Groupon to take a shot at Amazon when the opportunity presented itself, the company’s executive suite currently includes a batch of ex-Amazon employees — including CFO Jason Child and COO Kal Raman.

The battle lines are drawn. Now we just need to see whether Groupon’s catapults can hold up against Amazon’s drones.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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