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Groupon woes continue with lawsuit, low earnings

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Mark Lennihan/AP/File

(Read caption) During happier times, employees and guests of Groupon celebrate the company's IPO at Nasdaq. Since its dazzling opening just six months ago, Groupon stock has plunged to an all-time low, and the company has come under fire for being less than truthful about the state of their finances.

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So it turns out that Web 2.0 investing isn't all exits and lollipops and blazers with hoodies underneath...

Things get serious whenever you're talking billions instead of a few million between friends.  I admire Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason for trying to keep things the way they were.  But that's not how it works when you're a public company with hundreds of thousands of shareholders - the frat boy-wonder schtick just isn't cute anymore.

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From TIME:

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Groupon’s headaches are growing more serious. Just days after an accounting snafu forced the discount website to reveal a greater-than-reported fourth-quarter loss, the company was slapped with a shareholder lawsuit accusing its top executives of a “fraudulent scheme” that “deceived the investing public” about the company’s prospects and business. As if that wasn’t enough, Groupon’s stock hit an all-time low Wednesday and it faces a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Also, check out Francine's expert take on what responsibility Ernst & Young have here, if any, for the weak controls and restatement...