Shortly after Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, Jessica Lessin’s The Information reported that Google proposed paying the mobile messaging service to notify it in the event that WhatsApp entered into acquisition talks with a rival. Later, Fortune and Valleywag reported that, according to sources, Google had offered to buy WhatsApp for $10 billion. Another report in the Information stated that, according to a source, Google was willing to beat Facebook’s $19 billion offer. This claim was reiterated by one of the sources in the Valleywag post.
Now, Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai has denied that Google bid for WhatsApp, calling claims to the contrary “simply untrue.” At the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Pichai said, “We never made an offer to acquire them. Press reports to the contrary are simply untrue.”
UPDATE: The Information’s editor-in-chief, Jessica Lessin, tells Pando that its report states that Google back-channeled its interest in WhatsApp through Sequoia; Pichai’s remarks don’t explicitly deny that aspect of the Information’s report.
[Source: The Telegraph]