After Groupon spurned its $6 billion offer last year, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) decided to launch a deal-of-the-day site of its very own. It looks like the hard feelings will continue: Groupon has filed a lawsuit against two former employees who are now at Google’s new venture, saying they “will employ confidential and proprietary information.”
The lawsuit, filed today in Chicago state court, was reported by Bloomberg and is not yet available online. The suit does not name Google as a defendant and, according to the report, asks for an order preventing sales managers Brian Hanna and Michael Nolan from disclosing secret information that they learned at Groupon.
The report does not state that Groupon is seeking damages, which suggests the goal of the lawsuit is to enforce a no-compete agreement. Such agreements are common in the high-tech industry but are difficult for a company to enforce because American courts dislike contracts that limit labor market mobility. paidContent will provide more details on the lawsuit when it becomes available.
Google’s venture, called Google Offers, went live this summer in a handful of cities, including New York, and is expected to expand to dozens of others. Several other deal-of-the-day clone sites such as Living Social have also emerged to challenge Groupon, which was the darling of the start-up market until a series of questions about its accounting practices delayed its expected IPO. The company has had better news of late and will go forward with a scaled-back IPO in early November.