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Google buys local deals site Dealmap

August 03, 2011|By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times

Google Inc. has struck a deal that could help more people find better deals on the Web.

The Internet search giant bought Dealmap, a start-up that collects local bargains and discounts across the country.

Google did not disclose the terms of the acquisition. But it's part of an ambitious push by Google to become a bigger player in daily deals.

Google recently launched its own daily deals service called Offers. It developed the service after Groupon Inc. rejected a $6-billion takeover bid last year. Offers operates in New York, Portland, Ore., and the San Francisco Bay Area but plans to add more cities including Austin, Texas, and Seattle.

Google is looking to extend its dominance in online advertising by gaining a greater share of local business dollars. It's also looking to fend off surging competition from Facebook Inc., which rolled out its own deals initiative last year.

The local deals market is overflowing with competitors. Amazon.com Inc., for instance, is also trying to capture a bigger piece of the online deals action with a new website that offers discounts on local goods and services. AmazonLocal launched in Boise, Idaho, in June. It's now available in parts of Southern California, Chicago and other locations. Amazon has also invested in LivingSocial, a popular daily deals site and a Groupon competitor.

Google's strategy to leapfrog the competition in key markets has been to zero in on promising young start-ups. Dealmap launched in May 2010 and says it has more than 2 million users.

"We are impressed with what the Dealmap team has accomplished and excited to welcome them to Google," a Google spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

jessica.guynn@latimes.com

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