Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was reportedly in the race to acquire the mobile messaging app WhatsApp. But Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered a deal WhatsApp couldn’t refuse. Now, a senior Google executive believes that the social networking giant overpaid for the deal last month.
Will Google get into mobile messaging?
During the Morgan Stanley tech conference in San Francisco, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora said that paying $500 million per employee is not a good use of money. His intention was clear and loud. Arora believes Facebook has overpaid, and Google wouldn’t spend that much on a similar size company.
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Analyst Scott Devitt asked Arora how Google Inc plans to generate more revenues from its Android OS, besides sharing revenue from apps and advertising. The executive asked Devitt for suggestions. Scott Devitt recommended buying mobile messaging apps, which have become extremely popular in Asia. But Nikesh Arora was skeptical, reports Alistair Barr of The Wall Street Journal.
WhatsApp has only 55 employees. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s $19 billion offer values the company at $345 million per employee. Last year, there were reports that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was in talks to buy the cross-platform messaging app for $1 billion, which WhatsApp declined later. Further reports suggest that the search engine giant even tried to buy WhatsApp earlier this year, and was willing to pay as much as $10 billion. But the Menlo Park-based company paid almost double that sum to snatch the deal.
Google’s existing services have plenty of monetization potential
Nikesh Arora said Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is currently working to improve the Android user experience. He is not worried about new ways to monetize the world’s most popular mobile operating system. Arora believes mobile search ads, Google Play Store, YouTube and the company’s own apps would provide plenty of opportunities to monetize the operating system.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares inched up 0.50% to $1,224.31 at 10:50 AM EST.