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Groupon Says Group Lawsuit Cases to Settle by March 12

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Groupon Inc., the biggest seller of so-called daily deals, said it expects to complete by March 12 settlement of a group of consolidated class-action lawsuits alleging the expiration dates on its coupons are improper.

Lawyers for Groupon and the plaintiffs said in a Feb. 13 filing in federal court in San Diego that they have resolved disagreements about the settlement terms and anticipate filing settlement documents for the judge’s approval next month. The terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.

Seventeen lawsuits against Chicago-based Groupon were consolidated before U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw in San Diego. The plaintiffs claim Groupon and various retailers violate federal and state consumer protection laws with improper expiration dates and other provisions for the vouchers, such as the requirement that they be used in a single transaction.

“Groupon effectively creates a sense of urgency among consumers to quickly purchase ‘groupon’ gift certificates by offering ‘daily deals’ for a short amount of time,” according to the first case filed last year. “Consumers therefore feel pressured and are rushed into buying the gift certificates and unwittingly become subject to the onerous sales conditions.”

Julie Mossler, a spokeswoman for Groupon, and John Stoia Jr., a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment on the settlement.

The cases are In re Groupon Inc. Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, 11-MD-2238, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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