WhatsApp Sold to Facebook for $19 Billion

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It's official: no offense, celebrity gossip, but we're in the wrong business.

WhatsApp, a mobile-messaging startup, has been sold to Facebook Inc. for $19 billion. Yes, you read that figure correctly.


The transaction involves $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in stock and $3 billion in restricted stock that vests over several years.

The deal makes it apparent that the world's biggest social media network is seeking to get into the world of mobile communication.

"No one in the history of the world has ever done something like this," Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told reporters of WhatsApp, which soared to 450 million users in five years.

The company was founded by a Ukrainian immigrant who dropped out of college, Jan Koum, along with a Stanford alumnus, Brian Acton.

Zuckerberg, who bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, added that he proposed the purchase of WhatsApp over dinner just 10 days ago.

It's unclear exactly how Facebook will take advantage of this new instant messaging world, but it's not unclear what the lesson is here: we all need to move to the Ukraine, drop out of college and then immigrate to America.


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