Never get involved in a coupon war in Asia, people say, but LivingSocial threw that advice to the wind in June 2011 and bought Middle East daily deals vendor GoNabit. And now, according to a report from Abu Dhabi’s The National, the coupon company is headed home:
LivingSocial is looking to sell its subscriber base, which is said to number about 750,000 recipients, with a deadline set for this month, according to informed sources.
The company is believed to be in talks with potential buyers within the Middle East.
According to The National, LivingSocial’s facing competition from other daily deals operators. The Middle East is also apparently a generally inhospitable place for daily deals companies. In March, Dubai’s government investigated Groupon for bad customer service.
Besides the end of exotic flights to the U.A.E. for LivingSocial’s D.C. employees (except those sent to axe the company’s estimated 90 Middle East workers), it’s not clear whether this report, if it’s true, means anything for LivingSocial in the District. After getting a $32.5 million tax break from the D.C. Council last month, LivingSocial isn’t going anywhere.
“LivingSocial doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation,” LivingSocial spokesman Brendan Lewis writes in an email to City Desk.