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Groupon Breaking Out Of Deal-A-Day Mold

In other Groupon news (hey, there's $6 billion at stake!), the social deal leader is about to debut a new service that will "dramatically increase" the number of businesses offering deals on its site, and give users new tools to find deals multiple times per day. That's what Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason tells The Wall Street Journal, anyway.

"We want to do for buying at local businesses what Amazon did for buying online," Mason tells The Journal. "Up until now, one of Groupon's biggest problems has been a large backlog of merchants that want to be featured as a deal of the day," according to The Journal. "In some markets, the wait to get on the site takes months." At the end of October, Groupon released a Merchant Center for Groupon Stores, which is a new self-service platform for businesses to set up virtual storefronts to promote and run their own deals. Some are calling self-service the "future of Groupon," while critics suggest that the company is essentially turning itself in a suped-up coupon provider.

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