NEW YORK Amazon.com Inc is investing $175 million in online coupon company LivingSocial, a preemptive strike against Google Inc which a source has said is looking to buy Groupon, another coupon provider.
LivingSocial said on Thursday it also secured an $8 million investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners, adding that it will use the funds to grow its business worldwide.
LivingSocial said it is currently booking revenues of more than $1 million a day on average and expects well over $500 million in 2011.
Rival Groupon does not reveal financial figures, but its daily e-mails about discounts for goods and services has become an online phenomenon and the company is considered one of the fastest-growing Internet startups. LivingSocial also offers customers deals on local restaurants and spas.
Search engine leader Google is talking to Groupon about an acquisition, a source familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.
Amazon has been on an acquisition spurt in recent months, snatching up the parent of its smaller competitors Diapers.com and Soap.com for $500 million, and online store Woot.com for an undisclosed sum earlier this summer.
Amazon purchased popular online shoe seller Zappos.com last year for roughly $1.1 billion.
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando and Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Tim Dobbyn)