July 14, 2011 / 4:18 PM / 6 years ago

Connecticut AG questions Groupon coupons

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said Groupon Inc’s daily deal coupons may violate state law.

Jepsen said in a statement on Thursday that he is asking Groupon, the largest online daily deal company, for more information about its business practices because of concerns the expiration dates imposed on some offers sold in Connecticut may violate state law pertaining to gift certificates.

Jepsen wrote to Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason to ask for information including the terms under which Groupons are sold to and redeemed by consumers, how much revenue those sales generate in Connecticut and how frequently expiration dates are imposed on the sale of goods and services at a discount.

“It appears that what Groupon Inc sells or offers may fall within the definition of a gift certificate under Connecticut law,” Jepsen said.

Connecticut law prohibits gift certificates from being sold or issued subject to an expiration date, the Attorney General’s office said in the statement.

“I have not prejudged Groupon or reached any conclusions,” Jepsen added. “I am hopeful that any issues can be resolved through discussion and cooperation.”

Groupon was asked to provide the information by early August, the Connecticut Attorney General’s office added.

“We look forward to cooperating with Connecticut’s attorney general in helping him and his team understand our business model as it relates to the many Connecticut merchants and consumers who use our service,” a Groupon spokesman wrote in an email to Reuters.

Reporting by Alistair Barr; Editing by Tim Dobbyn

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