WhatsApp exec rubbishes $1bn Google acquisition rumours

A top WhatsApp executive has spoken out about the company's rumoured acquisition by Google.

Speaking to AllThingsD, WhatsApp head of business development Neeraj Arora said plainly that the firm is not currently holding sales discussions with the Internet giant.

Arora's statement follows speculative reports linking Google with a blockbuster $1 billion move for WhatsApp. The search giant was thought to view buying the popular cross-platform messaging service as an effective way of bolstering its communications arsenal.

The public denial could be a strategic move on the part of WhatsApp, as the acquisition gossip - which originated with a single "inside source" - pointed to the company "playing hardball" with Google as it looked to secure itself a heady sum in the region of $1 billion (£655m).

This is not the first time that WhatsApp has been subject to intense acquisition rumours. The messanging service has previously been linked with Google, as well as with social media juggernaut Facebook - rumours which Arora also refuted at the time.

Pundits say it's no great surprise that Silicon Valley's top firms are prepared to splash the cash on WhatsApp: the popular app stands head and shoulders above its universal messaging service rivals and is thought to have processed 18 billion messages on New Year's Eve 2012. Moreover, the company has proved itself capable of effective monetisation, operating on a paid-for subscription basis in select markets.