Update: AllThingsDigital has reported that Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’s business development head, said that the company is not discussing an acquisition deal with Google. Arora refused to comment further.
Search giant Google is apparently in negotiations to buy popular messaging app WhatsApp, according to website digitaltrends.com.
Negotiations have been going on for some weeks now, with WhatsApp holding out for an acquisition price that’s close to US$1bil (RM3.06bil), the site reported.
Over the years, WhatsApp has become the number one paid app in many countries, including in Malaysia, where it still currently holds the top spot as the number one paid app in the iOS App Store.
WhatsApp‘s success is due to the fact that it is one of the few messaging apps that is available on almost all mobile platforms, including Windows Phone, Android and BlackBerry.
If the negotiations are succesful, Google stands to tap into WhatsApp’s user base which spans over 100 countries and across 750 mobile networks.
More recently, rival mobile messaging apps like WeChat and Line have also been challenging WhatsApp’s dominance in the marketplace, with WeChat sitting in the number one spot for free apps while Line sits at number 39 in the iOS App Store.
Unlike WhatsApp, which charges an annual fee of US$0.99 (RM3), WeChat and Line are free apps and which are also available across multiple platforms.