Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is apparently negotiating a deal to buy out WhatsApp, a popular messaging app. The search giant is the second major company reported to be considering an acquisition for the app. Sources said back in December that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was interested in acquiring WhatsApp.
Digital Trends now reports that the app is negotiating with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in what could end up being worth $1 billion. The online publication said the negotiations have been going on for the last month or so and that WhatsApp has been pushing Google for a higher price, which is said to be around $1 billion.
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At this point Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) still has yet to make a big push into mobile messaging. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and smaller messaging apps like WhatsApp have virtually dominated the space, and Google has yet to connect its various communication services. An acquisition like WhatsApp could provide the mobile messaging platform the company needs while also providing a foundation to assist with uniting its communication services.
WhatsApp even has a way to monetize its services, which is a small 99 cent subscription fee paid annually to keep it free of ads. The company also brings in revenue by partnering with telecommunications companies in various countries. Since WhatsApp is currently a private company, it doesn’t make its financial reports public, although Digital Trends reports that a source has said the company’s annual revenue is around $100 million.
If Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) does acquire WhatsApp, it will have to deal with a pending investigation of the company’s possible breach of privacy rules in Canada and the Netherlands. The case was reported in January and is due to the app’s requirement for users to allow it to access their complete address book if they want to use it.
Of course Google itself is no stranger to privacy violation allegations. The company has been under fire for its Street View project in the U.S. and has even admitted that it did violate computer users’ privacy. In February the search giant was also called to face the European Union in connection with privacy issues.