Groupon has quietly announced to its users that will move all of its marketplace operations to its Irish subsidiary, Groupon International Limited, in order to simplify its business procedures with non-US customers.
In an email, it said:
Groupon Australia Pty Ltd will be transitioning operation of its marketplace and services. Groupon International Limited… will become the operator of www.groupon.com.au and marketplace effective January 18, 2017. Local vouchers, goods, and travel deals will continue to be sold by Groupon Australia Pty Ltd.
However, the move has attracted outrage from some of its customers. They see the move to Ireland as a way to minimise how much tax it has to pay in Australia. Ireland is used by many high-profile tech companies – like Apple, Google and Microsoft – to minimise the amount of tax they have to pay in the countries they operate in.
— Adriana Belotti (@abelotti) December 19, 2016
@GrouponAUS you're relocating your business to avoid tax responsibilities in Australia.
I'm relocating my business too. To local retailers
— Chloe (@RospoDiRospi) December 19, 2016
— Art Skvira (@smartial_arts) December 19, 2016
In a statement to TechGeek, a Groupon Australia spokesperson said that the move had nothing to do with the company’s tax position in Australia.
“Groupon is undergoing a business simplification process that will see all non-US customer data held by the Groupon International legal entity (as opposed to individual countries), which is based in Dublin,” the spokesperson said.
“This is a business organisational decision and is not being driven by Groupon’s tax position in Australia.”
They also confirmed that the Australian office will remain open, with no job losses.
“There is no change to Groupon Australia operations. It is business as usual,” the spokesperson said.