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Groupon suing former employees who joined Google

Move breaches the previous employees’ contract with Groupon

Groupon Inc. filed a civil complaint yesterday against two former sales managers for breaking their employment agreement and joining a competing venture within 24 months of their departure from Groupon. By moving, the men have taken confidential trade secrets from the daily deal company to the coupon business Google started last year.

Groupon filed the complaint with the Illinois Cook County court and did not include Google in the suit.

Former Groupon employees Brian Hanna and Michael Nolan joined Google in September and are working in sales management positions similar to those they held at Groupon.

Working for a competitor, Groupon said in its complaint, breaches the employment contract that both men signed, in which they agreed to withhold joining a competing company for 24 months following their positions at Groupon.

The court filing says the move would allow the men to reveal Groupon’s confidential information regarding Groupon’s customer listings and marketing strategies.

Last year, Google offered Groupon a $6 billion to take over its company. When Groupon declined that offer, Google created its own competing vouchers program that is geared towards small businesses.  

Danielle Feinstein

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