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.



Man in court for exposing himself at local shopping centre

Premium Content Man in court for exposing himself at local shopping centre

He told police he wasn’t aware his fly was down and denied the claims when spoken...

Not-for-profit gives kids wings to fly high as school starts

Premium Content Not-for-profit gives kids wings to fly high as school starts

“Growing up it was always so exciting to go get your school books, so we always put...

FISHING REPORT: Where they’ve been biting around Bundy

Premium Content FISHING REPORT: Where they’ve been biting around Bundy

PHOTOS: With the Australia Day holiday just gone, there has been reports of good...