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Facebook snaps up Whatsapp for $19bn

Why compete if you can buy your competition?
Thu Feb 20 2014, 09:07
Whatsapp logo

SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook has reached a deal to buy chatting app Whatsapp for $19bn.

The purchase is a mix of cash and stock. $4bn is folding currency, while the remaining $12bn is Facebook stock. Facebook will also hand over an additional $3bn in restricted stock over the next four years, taking the total cost of the deal to a whopping $19bn.

This acqusition sees Facebook beating Google to it, with the internet giant reportedly looking to snap up Whatsapp for a mere $1bn last year.

Whatsapp's co-founder and CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook on its board of directors, and will possibly sit around thinking about how much money he has.

The firms should make a good fit because both are used by millions of people to communicate and share interests, although Facebook has assured that, for now at least, Whatsapp will continue to operate as a standalone application, as will Facebook's own Messenger app. 

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is glad to be sending that amount of money in that direction.

"Whatsapp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," said Zuckerberg.

"I've known Jan for a long time and I'm excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected."

Koum is equally glad to be joining an old friend, and is pleased to be taking Whatapp's users and instant messaging features to an even wider audience.

"Whatsapp's extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide," Koum said.

"We're excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world."

Facebook is not shy about picking up firms that are popular with users and circling investors, and recently $1bn from the company chequeboook went to buy lunch photo sharing app Instagram. µ


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