After dangling a reported $6 billion offer in front of daily deal site Groupon (which it ultimately rejected), Google is pressing on with its own service. Today Google unveiled Offers, a new feature that will allow local businesses to show off deep discounts to consumers. Seemingly a direct competitor to Groupon and Living Social, Offers boasts of discounts of 50% off or more.
Google's service is buoyed by its massive visibility and infrastructure. As with many things at Google, Offers is in beta, and will begin in Portland, Oregon, before spreading to other cities. (Residents of New York, San Francisco, and Oakland can sign up for the service before it launches, perhaps indicating where Offers will head next.) To get involved, users must opt in to the service by subscribing to Offers, which sends deals to consumers via email—that's quite the distribution platform for Google, which boasts more than 193 million Gmail users.
For Groupon, Google represents yet another competitor to the ever-growing deals space. Others like Living Social are surging in traffic, Microsoft launched its own deals service last month, and countless other micro deals services are beginning to sprout.
Not that Groupon has become stagnant. Today, the company hired away Margo Georgladis from Google. The now-former VP of global sales and planning was Google's highest-ranking executive in Chicago, according to Crain's, and represents a big steal for Groupon, which has put her in the No. 2 position as COO.
[Image: Flickr user Najeebkhan2009]