Groupon is a gift-certificate website launched in late 2008 in Chicago, but quickly expanded. It was the brainchild of Andrew Mason, Groupon’s current chief executive. However, Mason was fired in February 2013 after the company's core business was undermined by tough competition and its share price crumbled.
Merging both units will help Alibaba better position itself in its battle for market share with Meituan-Dianping in China
Groupon named co-founder Eric Lefkofsky its chief executive and reported a record quarter for its North American business, signalling growing momentum in its comeback effort that saw its shares jump almost 20 per cent.