British Buyer Beware: U.K. Wary of Groupon’s Business Practices

Groupon Inc’s (NASDAQ:GRPN) troubles with Britain’s competition regulator, the U.K. Office of Fair Trading (OFT), have intensified. This came about after U.K.’s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, lodged a complaint regarding violations of the advertising code such as unfair promotions and misleading savings.

The ASA went so far as to say, “Given Groupon’s track record, we have serious concerns about its ability to adhere to the advertising code. It is in the public interest that we refer the matter to the OFT.” Groupon already has issues with a non-existent competitive barrier to entry, so new integrity problems should benefit competitors such as Living Social (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google Offers (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Groupon, on its part, responded with an e-mail that said, “We are constantly evolving our business process to ensure customers receive the best possible experience at the highest standards. We are cooperating fully with the OFT to ensure that the rights of consumers are protected.”

Here’s how Groupon shares closed the week:

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN): GRPN shares recently traded at $18.95. They have traded in a 52-week range of $14.85 to $31.14. Volume Friday was 3,659,224 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 5,745,660 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-2.17 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>