Google, in the form of Senior VP Sundar Pichai, has declared that it didn’t bid on WhatsApp before Facebook snapped up the mobile messaging service for $19 billion (£11.4 billion).
As we noted in our piece which mulled the question many folks have been asking – Why did Facebook pay $19bn for WhatsApp? – Google reportedly offered $10 billion (£6 billion) for WhatsApp, but was turned down.
The Telegraph reports that at MWC, Sundar Pichai said that Google wasn’t gunning for WhatsApp before Facebook stepped in.
Pichai, who is head of Android, Chrome and Google Apps, said: “WhatsApp was definitely an exciting product. We never made an offer to acquire them. Press reports to the contrary are simply untrue.”
Last year, Google had been rumoured to be interested in WhatsApp. As we reported last April, the big G put a $1 billion (£600 million) offer on the table according to inside sources, but WhatsApp was apparently playing hardball. No wonder, looking at the price tag Facebook paid just 10 months later.
The grapevine also pegged Facebook as looking at acquiring WhatsApp in the spring of last year, and obviously that was the case – though Zuckerberg took his time to make his move.
Zuckerberg is happy with the purchase – well he’d have to be, otherwise that would be one hell of a case of buyer’s remorse. At any rate, he’s gone on record saying that he believes WhatsApp is actually worth more than Facebook paid for it.
And if he keeps saying that, maybe it will come true. Maybe… although outages like last weekend’s downtime probably won’t help the cause.