Rumor: Google on The Verge of Acquiring WhatsApp for $1 Billion

By Vamien McKalin | Apr 08, 2013 09:15 AM EDT

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A rumor is making the rounds about Google negotiating to acquire WhatsApp for a whopping $1 billion. It is not certain how truthful this information is, but if it does happen, this deal would turn out to be the first time an application was acquired for a billion dollars.

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According to Digital Trends, the deal began 4 to 5 weeks ago, but WhatsApp is playing hard to get, and wants Google to pay up a lot more than it's been offering. As of now, the numbers are close to the $1 billion mark, and could go over that if WhatsApp plays its cards correctly.

Trying to get WhatsApp under its wing is a good move for Google, instead of wasting precious resources on creating a competing application that might take years to accumulate the same amount of loyal users now using WhatsApp.

Furthermore, by taking on WhatsApp, Google will not have to worry about monetization, because WhatsApp is the top paid application in 100 countries. Its affordable $0.99 subscription fee per year makes the messaging app an ad-free service. Not only that, but WhatsApp makes money by partnering with carriers internationally, and its yearly revenue is around $100 million, which is not too shabby for a messaging application that doesn't do much of anything else.

While this move could be good for Google, there might be some serious implications if WhatsApp is ever acquired. Users of the Windows Phone platform could see the app pulled from the store due to the constant feud between Google and Microsoft. If that doesn't happen, the Windows Phone version of the app could experience less updates compared to Android and iOS versions. Worst case scenario, Google might make WhatsApp exclusive to Android, a move that would affect millions of users around the world.

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