Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19b

FACEBOOK is buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp for up to $19 billion in cash and stock, by far the company's largest acquisition.

The world's biggest social networking company said that it is paying $12 billion in Facebook stock and $4 billion in cash for WhatsApp. In addition, the app's founders and employees will be granted $3 billion in restricted stock that will vest over four years after the deal closes.

The deal translates to roughly 9 per cent of Facebook's market value and is bigger than any acquisition made by Google, Apple or Microsoft.

Google's biggest deal, Motorola Mobility, stood at $12.5 billion, while Microsoft's largest was Skype at $8.5 billion. Apple, meanwhile, hasn't done a deal above $1 billion.

Facebook says it is keeping WhatsApp as a separate service, just as it did with Instagram, which it bought for about $715.3 million.

WhatsApp has more than 450 million monthly active users. In comparison, Twitter had 241 million users at the end of 2013.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg says WhatsApp is on path to reach a billion users.

"The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," Zuckerberg said.

Shares of Facebook slid $1.12 to $66.94 in extended trading after the deal was announced.


500 mourners farewell policeman who served with honour

premium_icon 500 mourners farewell policeman who served with honour

Police officer Stephen Nixon's life remembered and honoured.

Lismore turf club introduces new ‘100 Club’

premium_icon Lismore turf club introduces new ‘100 Club’

LOCAL businesses and charities are being encouraged to get involved and win great...

VIDEO: Students band together for fundraiser concert

premium_icon VIDEO: Students band together for fundraiser concert

LISMORE students to put on concert to raise funds for BlazeAid