China's two biggest online-to-offline (O2O) service providers, backed separately by rivals Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings , announced a merger, as Internet firms join forces to prosper in a highly competitive market. Meituan.com and Dianping Holdings said on Thursday they are combining to create China's dominant player in services such as finding deals at local restaurants and booking cinema tickets through smartphones as well as group-buying of coupons and accessing ratings, similar to those offered by Groupon Inc and Yelp Inc.The merged company could be valued at $15 billion or more, and a more precise valuation may come in the next few weeks as it negotiates a fresh round of funding with investors, said a person with direct knowledge of the deal, who couldn't be named because details of the transaction were not disclosed.A combination of the two unlisted O2O firms could pose a threat to the plans of Baidu Inc, China's top Internet search engine, which has unveiled plans to invest $3.2 billion in O2O over the next three years.
Baidu, Inc. (Baidu) is a Chinese-language Internet search provider (ISP). Shares of BIDU fell by 3.36% or $-5.03/share to $144.77. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $100.00 and as high as $251.99. On average, 4973810 shares of BIDU exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 6807204.
Groupon, Inc. operates online local commerce marketplaces world over that connect merchants to consumers by offering goods and services at a discount. Shares of GRPN traded higher by 8.83% or $0.31/share to $3.82. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $3.17 and as high as $8.43. On average, 9983730 shares of GRPN exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 10996608.
Yelp Inc. (Yelp) connects people with local businesses by bringing 'word of mouth' online and providing a platform for businesses and consumers to engage and transact. Shares of YELP traded higher by 3.62% or $0.82/share to $23.50. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $20.50 and as high as $73.41. On average, 3459860 shares of YELP exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 1538323.