WhatsApp co-founder Brain Acton said that he still cannot believe that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has taken over the service he co-founded. Acton said that he is just numb and trying to accept the $19 billion cash and stock deal. Acton said he also knows that the deal will make him a billionaire and change his life, according to USA Today.
“You’re just numb and trying to grasp it all,” Acton said, adding “It’s going to change my life. I know that.”
Facebook deal to provide freedom
Acton was present at the StartX accelerator in Palo Alto on Wednesday night and spoke for the first time on the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) deal since it was closed. Often press-shy Acton said that it was his first public engagement since the start of his career. Acton’s sudden billionaire status has not yet affected his standard of living and perspective toward the world. Acton, who is in his early 40s, is about to celebrate his 20th college reunion at Stanford.
Acton said that he, along with co-founder Jan Koum, decided to accept the mega-deal from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) rather than doing an initial public offering, which they thought was a tiresome and arduous process that wasn’t “in his DNA.” Acton said he wanted to focus on building a company messaging product and relationships with customers and added that Facebook will give them the freedom to do so.
Acton did not mention anything about Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s request to have European antitrust regulators review the deal to avoid antitrust reviews by multiple countries in the European Union. The United States has already approved the deal.
Second largest internet deal
WhatsApp was founded in 2009, and the service was free of charge across carriers, which made it immensely popular. At present, there are billions of messages transferred each day.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s purchase of WhatsApp has thrust Acton into the spotlight. The acquisition is one of the biggest acquisitions in recent years, at several times larger than what the social networking site paid for photo-sharing app Instagram in 2012 and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s $8.5 billion purchase of video calling company Skype in 2011. Among all the recent Internet deals, the Facebook-WhatsApp deal is only second to Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWC)’s $124 billion merger with AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) in 2001.