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Google Inc is inching towards buying e-commerce coupon website Groupon Inc for as much as $6 billion, the New York Times said on Tuesday.

A deal, which could be in the range of $5 billion to $6 billion, could be struck as soon as this week but people with direct knowledge of the matter cautioned that the talks between Google and Groupon might still fall apart, the paper said.

Groupon, a privately held, Chicago-based company which was launched about two years ago sends its members daily emails with about 200 deals for goods and services. The deals are activated only when a minimum number of people agree to make a purchase, giving Groupon clout to negotiate steep group discounts on products and services.

Google and Groupon could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

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