I went to a holiday lunch the other day held by a major Washington, DC, based trade association of which Amazon is a member, where the topic of Amazon’s price-check promotion came up. Even among that pro-business, pro-competition crowd, pretty much everyone agreed it was an obnoxious (albeit legal) tactic that could ultimately harm consumers by limiting retail choice. If it has a silver lining, however, it may be to spur some badly needed innovation in the online coupon business. Daily deals site Groupon is trying to help local retailers fight back against Amazon’s poaching with a Buy Local promotion that offers consumers $10 in Groupon bucks if they purchase any of the sites deals in a physical store. It’s good to see Groupon focusing on the needs of its merchant-partners rather than simply its own cash flow.