Google Corporation

Google Corporation

Google is near a deal to acquire Groupon, the pioneering online discounter, for as much as $6 billion, people with direct knowledge of the matter told DealBook on Monday.

A deal, in the $5 billion to $6 billion range, could be struck as soon as this week, these people said, cautioning that the talks could still fall apart.

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Groupon Building

Groupon Corporation

Google may be on the verge of clinching its biggest deal yet with a reported $5-billion bid for Groupon, the fast-growing company that is blitzing the Internet with daily coupon deals.

The purchase would extend Google’s dominance in online advertising, helping it gain local business dollars to fend off surging competition from Facebook Inc., which rolled out its own deals initiative last month.

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Groupon & Google Together?

Groupon & Google Together?

So far, despite a day of speculation around “sources close to the deal”, no one has been able to confirm that Google is, in fact, buying Groupon, the volume buying group that makes aggressive deals and sales available to its subscribers. Some reports claim that Google has already agreed to purchase the company for $2.5 billion, while the New York Times speculates that Google may be willing to spend upwards of $6 billion to acquire Groupon. Any way it goes, skeptics and regulators aside, this deal could be a key to Google’s growing taste for diversification (and a money-making machine).

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Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz

Yahoo Inc. is hopping on the bargain-hunting bandwagon with Groupon, the Internet’s hottest discount broker, and more than a dozen other similar services.

The partnerships announced Tuesday are the latest in a series of alliances that Yahoo has forged in the past 18 months with other Internet companies. It’s part of an effort to keep people on Yahoo’s website for longer periods and bring in more ad revenue after years of listlessness.

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