“Google did not bid for WhatsApp”

Search engine company’s Sundar Pichai denies attempt to compete with Facebook on purchase

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Google Chrome.
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Google Chrome.© Stephen Lam / Reuters (REUTERS)

WhatsApp is the undisputed star of this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. The popular text messaging service has become everybody's darling in recent weeks: following the announcement by Facebook that it was acquiring the company for 19 billion dollars (13.8 billion euros), rumor has it that last week Google offered 13 billion in an attempt to outbid Mark Zuckerberg.

But Google denies it. “We never put a figure on WhatsApp. We never tried to buy it," said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president in charge of Chrome, Android, and apps, at MWC on Thursday.

A second question drew the following statement: "No matter what they say, Google never bid for WhatsApp. It's a great company and part of its success comes from Android.”

On February 20, Fortune reported that Google had offered 10 billion dollars for WhatsApp, citing two unnamed sources. "The bid did not come with promise of a board seat, unlike the Facebook agreement," read the story.


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