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Facebook expands reach with $19 bn deal for WhatsApp

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Posted February 20, 2014
The logo of mobile app "WhatsApp" is displayed on a tablet on January 2, 2014 in Paris
The logo of mobile app “WhatsApp” is displayed on a tablet on January 2, 2014 in Paris
Facebook said Wednesday it was buying the fast-growing mobile messaging service WhatsApp in a deal worth an eye-popping $19 billion, expanding the global footprint of the social networking giant.

The mega-deal bolsters the world’s biggest social network—which has more than 1.2 billion members—with the 450-million-strong WhatsApp, which will be operated independently with its own board.

It is Facebook’s biggest acquisition and comes less than two years after Mark Zuckerberg’s firm raised $16 billion in the richest tech sector public stock offering.

The purchase includes $12 billion in Facebook shares and $4 billion cash. It calls for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp founders and employees that will vest over four years.

“The acquisition supports Facebook and WhatsApp’s shared mission to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core Internet services efficiently and affordably,” said a Facebook statement.

Facebook reportedly sought to acquire another hot messaging firm, Snapchat, for $3 billion last year. In 2012 Facebook closed its deal for Instagram, worth some $1 billion at the time based on stock value.

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” said Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive.

Read more at: Phys.org

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