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Google To Buy Groupon : A Direct Attack Against Affiliates

It's been only a few days since Google announced, a decidedly very un-Google project that captured our attention; now there comes the rumour of the possible acquisition by Google of Groupon for $5 billion.

Not only would that be Google's biggest acquisition yet, more than Doubleclick a few years ago, it would also confirm a shift in Google's strategy which puts it on collision course with some of its partners.

Already, the purchase by Google of ITA, a US-based company, for $700 million, has caused many in the online travel sector to express the fears that Google could become the 900-pounds Gorilla in their market.

Groupon would eliminate one middleman and bring Google presence in the booming cluster buying market, one which it can use to its own advantage.

Many are suggesting that Google could use it to inject some significant growth its location-based services, for example by mashing that up with Google Maps or Street View.

For the likes of Tradedoubler or Affiliates4u though, Google's purchase of Groupon may seal their fate. Google has already understood that the only way to sustain its massive growth is to start looking beyond the usual CPC and into CPA where the big money is.

Given how well the likes of Moneysupermarket, Moneyexpert, Kelkoo or Pricerunner are doing even during a recession, it's only a matter of time before Google launches its own offer and turns into a commission monster.