LivingSocial buys France's

1st June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Online bargain site LivingSocial is buying French daily deal site in a bid to take on Groupon in France.

The Washington-based LivingSocial announced on Wednesday that it was buying Dealissime and an online display advertising company founded by a former Google executive,

Financial details of the acquisitions were not disclosed.

"LivingSocial looks for companies that have similar values and ways of working," LivingSocial co-founder and chief executive Tim O'Shaughnessy said.

"The team at Dealissime shares our drive to change the face of local commerce by working directly with merchants to craft handpicked deals that entice, surprise and delight our members," O'Shaughnessy said in a statement.

"The addition of Dealissime is one of the next steps in our aim to offer great value to merchants and customers worldwide," he said.

Launched in April 2010, Dealissime currently offers group-buying deals in Paris, Marseille and Lyon and plans to expand to Lille and Bordeaux.

Dealissime was founded by Lara Rouyres and Tatiana Jama and LivingSocial said the company's current team will remain in place.

"We are very enthusiastic about this strategic move and confident in LivingSocial's ability to offer the same level of high-quality deals, customer service and to help us to accelerate our expansion in France," Jama said.

LivingSocial's acquisitions were announced as Google began testing its own bargain service on Wednesday in a challenge to the Chicago-based market leader Groupon and others offering online discounts.

Google Offers will begin testing in Portland, Oregon, and eventually expand to New York City and the San Francisco area.

Groupon, which claimed 50 million subscribers at the start of this year, rejected a reported $5 billion takeover offer from Google last year.

In April, Facebook began testing a deals program in five US cities in a bid to expand its revenue stream beyond advertising and carve out a niche in the rapidly growing online bargain space.

With the acquisition of Dealissime, LivingSocial said it now has a presence in 13 countries.

© 2011 AFP

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