Facebook stunned the tech world this week when it announced that it was paying $16 billion up front along with $3 billion in vested payments to buy WhatsApp, the incredibly popular messaging app that has 450 million users. We’d already read reports suggesting that Google was willing to pay up to $10 billion for WhatsApp but now The Information’s Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin report that Google was actually willing to beat Facebook’s offer for the company, meaning that WhatsApp could have potentially been worth even more than the $19 billion that Facebook is shelling out to buy it.
According to Efrati and Lessin, Google CEO Larry Page tried to encourage WhatsApp to stay independent as way to keep the company out of Facebook’s hands. One of their sources says that Google “did not seem excited” about the prospect of paying billions of dollars for WhatsApp and was mostly interested in trying to stop Facebook from acquiring it.
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