Chicago Pulse: Groupon Expands, Faces Scrutiny

Chicago SkylineGroupon Picks Up Local Business Marketing Site: In another move to consolidate its local coupon power, Chicago-based Groupon has acquired Zappedy for $10.3 million, according to an SEC filing. Zappedy was a somewhat mysterious startup that specialized in helping local businesses market themselves online and through social media. Its site is now shut down, with only a note left behind saying, “We’re excited to join the Groupon Team.” AllThingsD

Groupon’s Numbers May Not Add Up: In other Groupon news, the SEC wants to the company to explain something it calls “adjusted consolidated segment operating income,” a financial measurement that seems to leave out marketing and other expenses. With an IPO looming and Groupon looking to get its financial house in order to justify what may be a $20 billion valuation, questions about how it accounts for expenses need to be cleared up quickly. The Wall Street Journal

Chicago Places Ninth in Download Speed Test: A Pando Networks study has discovered the cities and states with the fastest average Internet connections and has also revealed striking disparities in the quality of Web access across America. The study, which tracked downloads by four million users from January through June, found that Chicago averages 678 kilobytes/sec, placing it seventh among major metropolitan areas. The fastest average download speed is in Andover, Massachusetts, with speeds at 2.8 megabytes/sec. Pando Networks

Corporate Tax Hikes Hurting State Businesses: Companies like CME Group, which has been in the state for 150 years, are planning to leave as a result of the state’s 45% corporate tax rate hike. As CME talks to Texas, Florida, and Tennessee, other companies, including local stalwart Sears, are considering relocation. At the same time, though, the state gave $100 million in incentives to keep Motorola in Illinois, so there’s definitely a mixed message to businesses. Business Insider

Outlook Is Weak for Motorola Mobility: Local behemoth Motorola Mobility warned that its third-quarter profit will miss expectations. The company is struggling with the second delay of an important smartphone launch as well as price cuts on its tablets.  CEO Sanjay Jha said he misjudged pricing in the tablet market but added that Motorola’s profit would rebound in the fourth quarter. Whether or not Motorola Mobility can truly compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung in the very hot tablet market remains to be seen. Crain’s

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