It’s no secret that Google has been looking to get itself into the daily deal/group buying phenomenon, openly courting Groupon at the end of last year, but falling short of a deal to buy them.
Since the deal fell through, it became clear that Google had decided to build their own daily deal site (and with the billions they saved from not buying Groupon, they’d plenty to spend on their own site), and today they took the first step towards launching their “Groupon killer”.
Google Offers has started to sign up subscribers for a few locations in the US, and is looking for providers in order to get some deals going. They’ve even gone to the trouble of putting together an arty promo video for the service, so they must be serious about it.
It’s likely to take a bit of time for the initial testing to get off the ground, so don’t hold your breathe of a UK launch any time soon. They’ll also have quite a bit of catching up to do, as Groupon apparently has 8 million subscribers in the UK, with almost 7,000 business offering deals. They’ve also just released their own iPhone app.