Former Groupon Employees: Daily Deals are Not Proprietary

Two former Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) sales managers turned the tables on the world’s largest online coupon site by filing a countersuit against their former employer, who had accused them of taking confidential information to Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), reported Sophia Pearson of Bloomberg.

Groupon filed a lawsuit in October against former managers Michael Nolan and Brian Hanna after they resigned from the firm to work for up-and-coming rival Google Offers. In its suit, Groupon claimed the men had access to trade secrets including the company’s pricing data and deal structure and names of clients, according to Pearson’s report.

Papers filed on Jan. 25 in an Illinois state court say the managers’ attorneys accused Groupon of trying to harass and silence the employees and gather information about their competitor “in its stop-at-nothing strategy to take itself public and further enrich its founders.”

According to attorneys for the managers, the two men were not privy to any company secrets. The lawyers also argued the validity of Groupon’s employment contract, which forbids former employees to work for competing companies for a two-year period.

Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason recently remarked that the company, which is being confronted with pressure from larger rivals including Google and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will not be deterred by competition.

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