It seems that Facebook wasn’t the only company that courted WhatsApp about a potential acquisition as a new report indicates Google was also in the mix.
In the hours since it was announced that Facebook is acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion, Fortune has learned that from multiple sources that Google at an unknown time offered to purchase the messaging service for $10 billion. The exact timeline of when this offer was made is unknown, but that WhatsApp obviously passed on the offer.
Where things become very intriguing is another report from The Information that says around six months ago Google approached WhatsApp with a highly unusual offer. According to a person who is said to have been involved in the talks, as well as two others who were briefed on it, the search giant offered to pay the messaging service a fee to be notified of any other interested parties making offers. Apparently Google was so interested in purchasing the company that it was willing to pay for the right to make a counter offer should it become necessary. Apparently WhatsApp declined to enter into the unusual arrangement and the rest, as they say, is now history.
While the purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook came without much warning, if any at all, it seems that the company had been in serious play for some time. It does make you wonder if any companies may be looking at any other messaging services that could be purchased to compete with the powerhouse that has just been built. Could BlackBerry’s BBM be next?