Facebook snatches up WhatsApp in $19B deal

When we’re talking about Facebook and messaging acquisitions, Snapchat is the name that first comes to mind, following the much-publicized news last fall that Snapchat turned down a $3B offer from the social network. Since then we’ve been wondering in the back of our minds if Facebook might take another stab at buying the company, or at least go after some of its competition. Tonight we get news that Facebook has indeed gone ahead with plans to purchase a smartphone messaging service, but it’s not Snapchat this time around; instead, Facebook has announced an arrangement that will see it acquire WhatsApp in a $19B deal.

That breaks down to $4B in cash (itself a larger figure than the Snapchat offer), $12B in Facebook stock, and another $3B in stock for WhatsApp’s employees. Any way you slice it, that’s a hell of a lot better than the rumored $1B Google was looking to pay last year.

What does this mean for WhatsApp? Facebook insists that the company will operate independently from Facebook itself, and will keep its name – this isn’t about to be rolled-up into Facebook Messenger, or anything like that. Really, expect a situation much like what Instagram went through following its own acquisition by Facebook.

WhatsApp has a user base of about 450M, which works out to a sale price of a little over $42 per user, if you want to look at the deal that way.

Source: Facebook
Via: Boing Boing

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!