|Facebook likes WhatsApp and pays US$16b
Facebook said it was buying the mobile messaging service WhatsApp for more than US$16 billion in cash and stock.
The deal adds the 450 million users of WhatsApp to the social network. It will operate independently with its own board.
It is Facebook's biggest acquisition and comes less than two years after the company raised US$16 billion in the richest tech sector public stock offering.
The purchase includes US$12 billion in Facebook shares and US$4 billion cash. It calls for an additional US$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.
WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile app which allows users to exchange messages without having to pay telecom charges.—AFP