Things are looking a bit grim in Groupon-land, as the company’s market valuation continues to slide. The company’s deflation has thrown something of a pall over tech companies, and could introduce chop into the IPO waters. That’s the opposite of what Facebook wants, as it prepares to go public.

The chart says it all:

2012 04 20 13h02 55 Groupon falling down: Market valuation approaching old Google buyout offer price

Here’s the real kicker: Soon, if the company continues to lose value, it will cross a critical threshold: at around $9.40 a share, Groupon will be worth less than what Google offered it in a buyout in December of 2010. At that time, it seemed like Groupon could do no wrong. Today, the opposite is true.

Google had reportedly offered $5.3 billion, with a $700 million earnout, for a total of $6 billion. Groupon is currently valued at around $7.3 billion. It’s stock is off over 4% thus far today, at the time of writing. Groupon only has to lose just around $2 per share, and it will be underwater, when compared to the Google offer.

What has gone wrong? From our previous coverage:

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. What has been going on at Groupon? Two things, roughly. The first, a public statement from its accounts to the effect that the company has ‘material’ weakness in its financial controls. For a freshly public firm, that is a breath of rot.

And secondly, a wave of negative press. TNW, mostly, or completely under my pen has been recently critical about the company. I’ve been joined with voices around the tech writing community, expressing either alarm, or at least worry about how the company is operating. I will say, that for a fully different view, Surya Yalamanchili has an excellent piece on the company that came out this weekend. I recommend that you read it, whatever your perspective.

We are watching the company closely, and will bring you more as it happens; if Groupon can reverse its slide, it will cause more than Chicago breathe easier. Facebook needs for Groupon to live, or investors might get a bit sick of tech stocks, right before it takes a swing at the markets.