Street Fight Daily: Google and Groupon, AOL and Starboard

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.

Why Groupon Really Turned Down Google’s $6 Billion Offer (SAI)
Google offered to buy Groupon, then a two-year-old local e-commerce startup, for $5.75 billion in the fall of 2010. But the deal fell through for three main reasons, according to writer Frank Sennett, the author of a forthcoming book on the company.

I.S.S. Backs Patch-Critical Shareholders for AOL Board (New York Times/Dealbook)
Institutional Shareholder Services has recommended that AOL investors vote for two of three board candidates named by Starboard Value, an activist hedge fund. At the same time, I.S.S. recommended the re-election of six incumbent AOL directors. The recommendation by I.S.S. is a blow to AOL, which pushed back against Starboard over the better part of this year.

Why Square’s Handcrafted Approach to Payments Can Win (GigaOm)
Square’s chief operating officer Keith Rabois said the company isn’t looking at hiring a sales staff anytime soon. And it’s not making any immediate moves to address the online sales channel for merchants. He said Square is lifting sales for businesses by double digits and a lot more in some cases. And to all the competitors, he said, it takes more than just a press release to compete.

Monetizing Mobile Requires More Than Just Waiting For Ad Dollars (TechCrunch)
Eli Portnoy: I personally disagree strongly that if you build it, they will come. Advertisers and their agencies are not stupid. They all have smartphones, they all live and breathe their iPhones and Androids, and they are paid to understand what is new and exciting. Mobile is taking no one by surprise in 2012. So why isn’t the money flowing to mobile?

Why Online Hyperlocals Fail On a National Level (
Steve Johnson: Hyperlocal publishing requires you to be physically in the community you’re selling advertising to. AOL Patch hasn’t yet put a dedicated salesperson into each town they represent. To sell hyperlocal ads successfully, you must have a salesperson that lives in that town, knows the movers and shakers in that town, and goes to all the social events with them.

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