This post, in a way, is a response to deliberations we had in last week's seminar about how certain websites, despite competition, become the obvious point of reference for a particular realm. I thought about how Groupon, like Facebook as a social-networking site and Google as a search engine, completely monopolizes a certain market.
Before Groupon, there was not such a common port of call for online discount. Competitors such as livingsocial.com or moneysupermarket.com have never taken-off in the same, international way as Groupon has over the past three years; it now serves 44 countries. (Wikipedia) I read a Guardian article last Friday which released figures that highlight the success of the site. Its shares have soared to 55% above their initial cost and 'At $13bn, Groupon has a price tag worth double the amount Google reportedly offered for the discount firm last year.' (Josh Holiday, guardian.co.uk, 2011)
After witnessing the success of this online-voucher site, both Google (with the rejection of their offer) and Facebook have had plans this year to launch similar social-buying programmes. Just like these other two monopolies, Groupon has it's own smartphone app to suit you. Whether you're hungry ('I'm Hungry') or bored ('I'm Bored'), the app can track your whereabouts and find deals for establishments near you.
Is there any competition I'm unaware of? Also, is there much room for Groupon to grow without collaborating with either of the mentioned companies?
Link to article about Groupon's IPO: