September 03, 2011

In a Quiet Period, Groupon Feels the Noise -

In a Quiet Period, Groupon Feels the Noise

Andrew Mason, chief of GrouponAnthony Bolante/ReutersAndrew Mason, chief of Groupon.

Groupon's initial public offering is about to hit some very rough turbulence.

The reason is that the Securities and Exchange Commission may force a postponement of the offering. The problem arises from an e-mail apparently sent last week by Groupon's chief executive, Andrew Mason, to thousands of Groupon employees.

In the e-mail, as reported by Kara Swisher at All Things D, Andrew Mason details his frustration at "getting the [expletive] kicked out of us in the press". He disputes media reports about the company and defends Groupon's proposed accounting metric of "adjusted consolidated segment operating income," which excludes types of marketing expenses, currently about 20 percent of Groupon's revenue. Mr. Mason then makes a spirited defense of company, stating that Groupon's businesses are doing better than its competitors and seeing "unprecedented growth".

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