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Google, LivingSocial acquire shopping deals sites

Google is expanding in the U.S., while LivingSocial plans an acquisition in South Korea

Google and LivingSocial are expanding in the booming shopping discounts market with new acquisitions announced Monday.

The Dealmap, an aggregator of shopping deals, said on Monday that it has been acquired by Google for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition of the Menlo Park, California, company could help Google grow its presence in the U.S. deals market which it entered in June with Google Offers.

Dealmap brings together deals, discounts, and coupons from a variety of sources and plots them on a map of the U.S. Besides offering this information through its website and e-mail, Dealmap offers apps for Android phones, and Apple's iPhone and iPad. It claims over 2 million users.

"We are impressed with what The Dealmap team has accomplished and excited to welcome them to Google," Google said in an e-mailed statement. "We've been thrilled with the early success of our commerce offerings, and we think they can help us build even better products and services for consumers and merchants," it added.

Dealmap said it would continue to support its core products and partner services. It does not however accept new deals from users and businesses on its website or mobile apps, and redirects interested business owners to submit deals to Google Offers.

"As we're ready to share more about integration and transition plans, we'll update our partners and consumers on progress and any news," Dealmap said.

Google started testing Google Offers in June in Portland, Oregon. Its answer to Groupon now covers several U.S. cities including Portland, San Francisco, and New York. It plans to extend the service in Austin, Boston, Denver, Seattle and Washington D.C.

LivingSocial, a company in Washington D.C., specializing in daily deals and other discount schemes, is meanwhile expanding in Asia. It said on Monday that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire TicketMonster, a social commerce website in South Korea that offers daily and instant deals, travel packages, and events to more than 2 million members in Korea and Malaysia.

LivingSocial already operates in 23 countries, including in the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia where it also made acquisitions.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com


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