Monday, July 11, 2011

Groupon taking legal action on deals aggregator?

Earlier this week, we received a legal notice from the CEO of Groupon Singapore (formerly known as Beeconomic), stating that Dealshelve is displaying their deals in an "unauthorized" manner and legal action will be taken upon us if we do not remove their deals by Wednesday this week.

This bring us to an interesting question. Do daily deal aggregators like Dealshelve and Yipit have the legal right to display information extracted from daily deal sites? It is a common practice for daily deal aggregator to state the provider, i.e. source site, for all the deals that are listed. When a visitor is interested in a particular deal, there is usually a "find out more" button that will lead the visitor directly to the deal page on the source site itself.

Information collected by daily deal aggregator is readily published by daily deal sites on the Internet for public viewing. Anyone should be free to read or even share these deals. In fact, it is widely accepted that the key to success for daily deal website is to be able to broadcast their deals to as many people as possible in the shortest possible time. Most deals usually require minimum amount of buyers before they become available so sites, i.e. daily deal aggregators, that promote the deals can certainly help! Daily deal site that restricts sharing and publicity of their deals is unlikely to reach broader audience than they would have otherwise and most probably they also can't provide cheaper deals for the lack of mass buyers.

If referring and sharing information from other sites is illegal, how should we view the search results from Google or Yahoo? Should they be removed as well? If restriction in sharing becomes a trend, what can we get from the Internet as a whole? One of our principles is to be able to serve our users with deals from as many daily deal sites as possible so that they get to choose the one that they like the most. In this view, we humbly hope Groupon Singapore will be able to reconsider their request and withdraw the legal action against Dealshelve.

See also views on this matter at other news sites:


  1. Groupon does have a valid case.

    Your comparison with Google does not hold any water. Google's search results drive traffic to actual owners' websites. On the contrary, Dealshelve has an intermediate page to display the details of each Groupon deal, which means users can browse through every Groupon deal without leaving Dealshelve's website. This is, in effect, hijacking web traffic to Groupon.

    See the picture yet?

  2. But the problem is, when user want to buy a deal they still need to go into their website to buy the deal. The coupon is generated from their site not dealshelve.

    So do you see the picture yet?

  3. Hi "MyVote Asia",

    The whole crux behind the case was never about the purchase of the deals. It's about the web traffic.

    You saw the wrong picture. :D

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Before we talk about legal or not, I've a word to say. When people don't like it, then stop doing it.

    It's obviously that it is groupon information. It's obviously Dealshelve is helping groupon to get more customer. Court is the final place to settle, while we should try our best to resolve it before this.

    It's definitely Groupon is unhappy with Dealshelve, for whatever reason. Dealshelve doesn't needs Groupon information either.

    Dealshelve, you may not be wrong, but going Court doesn't bring you income. Winning or Losing the case will both hurt you.

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