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April 9, 2013

WhatsApp Says Rumors of Acquisition By Google Baseless

Rumors that Google was ready to write a $1-billion cheque to acquire cross-platform messaging application WhatsApp have been denied by a WhatsApp executive.

Business development head Neeraj Arora told AllThingsD late yesterday the company is not holding sales talks with Google, but declined to offer further comment.

A source “with knowledge of the negotiations” had told Digital Trends the technology giant was in the final phase of negotiations with the popular app after “four or five weeks” of talks.

The story went viral yesterday with numerous technology and news sites picking up the story.

WhatsApp screenshot

WhatsApp screenshot

Although Arora — who was Google’s mergers and acquisitions chief in 2010 — said WhatsApp was not currently in talks with Google, that does not prevent a deal between the two in the future.

Arora’s denial also does not mean that sales talks between the two firms have never taken place.

The Guardian is suggesting that WhatsApp “rebuffed” Google’s $1-billion offer, ending discussions between the two sides.

WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile messaging app that enables users, for a “small subscription fee,” to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. It is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia.

“Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same Internet data plan that you use for e-mail and Web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends,” reads the website. “In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.”

Although the company has never released its user base estimate, it is believed to be more than 300 million.

Whatsapp has been downloaded more than 100 million times on Google Play. It is also one of the most-downloaded apps on Apple’s app store in a number of countries.