Google's attempts to buy online discount site Groupon for $6bn (£3.8bn) appear to have failed after negotiations between the two parties broke down, according to several reports.
The proposed acquisition of the Chicago-based startup would have been Google's biggest to date, and the company upped its bid at least once during the process. But the Groupon board was divided over the prospect, the reports suggest.
Groupon will continue to remain independent and consider a potentially lucrative IPO in the future, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.
Groupon has enjoyed meteoric success since its launch two years ago by tapping the local business market.
The site offers highly localised 'deals of the day' to its user base of 35 million people in 300 markets in North America Latin America and Europe, generating over $1bn (£640m) in annual revenue.
It is this growth which is likely to have scuppered the deal with Google, as many Groupon board members are themselves investors and are wary of letting the company go too cheaply, according to The New York Times.
Google, Yahoo and Facebook are all keen to tap the local advertising market. The Google Local shopping service, demonstrated recently at the E Commerce Expo, presents mobile users with the stock availability of products in their nearest stores.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago