After Failing To Acquire Groupon, Google Said To Be Sniffing Around Smaller Rivals

Google wants to be in the online group buying space, badly, and with good reason. The company may have not succeeded in purchasing the current leader in the space, Groupon, which has spurned a $6 billion buy-out offer in a bid to stay independent and shoot for the stars, but it seems determined to get in on the action – through acquisition – regardless.

According a report from the New York Post, citing a source familiar with the matter, Google is talking to smaller Groupon rivals about a potential acquisition.

Companies like LivingSocial and BuyWithMe, both privately-held and backed by tens of millions in venture capital, are some of the names that are dropped in various reports, but there are of course plenty of smaller Groupon competitors to go around.

LivingSocial, for one, seems an unlikely target – it has just raised $175 million from Amazon.

BuyWithMe has raised $21.5 million to date, and interim President David Wolfe told the New York Post that he wouldn’t comment on whether he was speaking to Google, saying only that he believes Google definitely needs to enter the coupon advertising market (we agree).

Another potential bet in our opinion could be Whaleshark Media, which operates a marketplace for coupons and deals and owns, CouponShare and Deals2Buy, among other sites.

The company just raised roughly $90 million to pursue its roll-up strategy, and Whaleshark Media also just acquired coupon search engine company RetailMeNot.

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Needless to say, we’re all over this.