Facebook parks a money truck outside WhatsApp – A $19 billion “partnership”

Tonight we’re hearing some breaking news that Facebook will be buying WhatsApp for a rather colossal $19 billion. WhatsApp are calling it a partnership but, for that amount of money (£11.4 billion in cash and shares), there’s more than a few raised eyebrows. It’s 35% of Facebooks’ total cash on the deal, which is bonkers.

Facebook will be looking to reach those 450 million WhatsApp users, including those in developing markets. Meanwhile, WhatsApp are saying that the “merger” will help them to continue building a cool product used globally…

Today we are announcing a partnership with Facebook that will allow us to continue on that simple mission. Doing this will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand, while giving me, Brian, and the rest of our team more time to focus on building a communications service that’s as fast, affordable and personal as possible.

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They’re telling their users that nothing will change and that WhatsApp will remain “autonomous” and will operate independently. The company only has 50 employees.

They say that you’ll still be able to use the product for “a nominal fee” and that the deal won’t mean you’ll have adverts popping all over the app. The founders of WhatsApp (Brian Acton and Jan Koum) seem to be very happy with the deal and that the deal would never have gone ahead if the “vison and core principles” weren’t protected.

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Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the “prospect of a deal” was only floated 11 days ago and has told us..

we’re going to work hard to help WhatsApp grow and connect the whole world. WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Facebook Messenger is widely used for chatting with your Facebook friends, and WhatsApp for communicating with all of your contacts and small groups of people. Since WhatsApp and Messenger serve such different and important uses, we will continue investing in both and making them each great products for everyone.

More as we get it.

The WhatsApp statement is below..

Meanwile Mark Zuckerburg, who’ll be at Mobile World Congress in a few days, posted the below on Facebook.