GROUPON, the internet based coupon company that is in potential takeover talks with Google, is believed to have walked away from the discussions over the weekend.
Google and Groupon began negotiations last week with speculation becoming ever more intense that Google could offer between $5bn (£3.2bn) and $6bn for the firm.
Groupon offers consumers steep online discounts in conjuction with local businesses but only if a minimum number of subscribers sign up for the offer. Groupon takes a cut of approximately 50 per cent of the revenue from each deal it runs.
Reports in the US emerged at the weekend suggesting Groupon had walked away from the discussions deciding to remain independent.
Sources claimed it was possible Groupon could choose to pursue an initial public offering but that it would not decide whether to go public until the new year. In April the company was valued at $1.3bn.
Google declined to comment on the reports while no-one from Groupon could be reached for comment. The firm is not expected to confirm anything regarding the negotiations until later today.
Groupon has rocketed from struggling website to webstar in the space of two years. It now employs 3,000 people globally and has a presence in 35 countries. It is expected to make annual revenues of at least $500m this year.
Google, which is pushing into local search advertising, had been hoping to tap into Groupon’s network of sales staff and relationships with small businesses across the US in particular.
Groupon has also reportedly been courted by the likes of Yahoo, suggesting others in the industry believe the company has a sustainable business model.