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When LivingSocial and Groupon launched in the late aughts, the ‘daily deals’ model took the country by storm, putting serious buying power into the hands of consumers and giving small businesses enormous, new audiences. Shoppers and businesses are both winning, but the biggest winners of all have been the hugely profitable daily deals companies themselves. Now that this lucrative business model has lured Internet giants Facebook and Google into the arena, it’s becoming unclear who to pledge your daily deal allegiance to. Here’s a breakdown of the four biggest players in the field.

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