Last year, it seemed like the sky was the limit for Groupon. Every major Internet player had to have a Groupon clone, Google even tried to buy Groupon. Everybody was talking about the service. This year, while some of those things may still be true (Google decided to just move forward with its own deals offering), a much greater percentage of the news about Groupon has been negative.
This stems from as far back (at least) to the company’s controversial Super Bowl ad.
Even when there’s good news, the bad is always a click or two away, it seems. Today is no different.
Groupon is being sued by BidMyCrib.com as it is being accused of altering emails of agreements with merchants after terms had been accepted. Bloomberg reports that Groupon is being accused of violating the Stored Communications Act.
Groupon is reportedly in some hot water with regulators over breaches of the advertising code (apparently they’ve had 50 of them this year). Two recent ones in particular have drawn regulators’ attention, including one about a breast enhancement ad deemed misleading, and one for a non-existent Ocado product price. The former apparently made a promise that was not consistent with the information obtained at the merchant’s spa, and the second was a delivery pass advertised as “usually priced at” a certain price, and that it was determined that no such product ever actually existed at that price. (via TheGuardian)
A CRM company called Groupion sued Groupon for trademark infringment, but the court has found the suit to be without merit. In an official court document (via Eric Goldman), the judge says: “Groupion failed to make a showing that there is a likelihood of confusion between its and Groupon’s mark. Therefore, the Court finds that Groupon fails to demonstrate that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on its infringement claim and, thus, denies Groupon’s motion for summary judgment.”
Groupon’s stock managed to climb back over the company’s initial stock price of $20 a share. As of the time of this writing, it’s at $21.15.
In other Groupon news, the company announced the launch of a new calendar service called Groupon Scheduler today.
The company was also the butt of a Michael Ian Black joke:
I am tolerant towards every lifestyle except people who use Groupon.