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Google exec bashes Facebook for $19 billion WhatsApp buy

Updated Mar 6th, 2014 11:35AM EST
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Google wanted to acquire WhatsApp but it couldn’t get the deal done. Now, Google is apparently venting some frustrations that Facebook beat it to the punch. While speaking at the Morgan Stanley technology conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Google’s chief business officer Nikesh Arora voiced his opinion that the huge $19 billion sum Facebook is paying to acquire WhatsApp is exorbitant.

“$500 million per employee? Is that a good use of our money?” Arora replied to Morgan Stanley’s Scott Devitt when he asked if Google might be interested in another big mobile messaging market player following the WhatsApp deal.

As The Wall Street Journal noted, Facebook’s acquisition of the 55-person cross-platform messaging startup WhatsApp actually works out to roughly $345 million per employee, but Arora’s point was loud and clear. He thinks Facebook overpaid, and Google wouldn’t match the offer when pursuing the company itself.

According to the Journal, Google first tried to acquire WhatsApp several years ago and it approached the company again with buyout talks more recently.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.