Facebook’s surprise $16 billion acquisition of WhatsApp yesterday might not have been part of the only offer the messaging company received. Fortune reports that Google offered to buy WhatsApp for $10 billion. In a brief report on the rumored offer, Fortune notes that two separate sources have confirmed Google offered to purchase WhatsApp, but it’s unclear exactly when the search giant attempted to arrange a deal. The bid reportedly came without a promise of a Google board seat, unlike Facebook’s agreement.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg proposed the purchase to WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum on February 9th, with a finalized deal ready a few days later. Business Insider reports that Koum visited Zuckerberg’s home on Valentine’s Day and interrupted a private dinner before the two finalized details and pricing "over chocolate covered strawberries." Koum will now take a place at Facebook’s board, and has promised "nothing" will change for users immediately as Facebook plans to run WhatsApp independently, much like Instagram. WhatsApp is used by over 450 million people every month to send instant messages on mobile devices. Its impressive growth has caught the attention of Facebook and Google, but with stiff competition from other messaging apps the race is still on to replace texting.
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