Reports That Google Offered $10B for WhatsApp Are Greatly Exaggerated—Says Google

It never made a formal bid for the messaging app, according to an executive

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Christian Hartmann / Reuters

An employee answers phone calls at the switchboard of the Google office in Zurich August 18, 2009.

A top-level executive at Google said Tuesday that reports the search giant made a bid to buy the mobile messaging service WhatsApp are false.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai called news reports that Google tried to acquire WhatsApp for $10 billion before it was snapped up by Facebook for $19 billion “simply untrue,” the Telegraph reports.

“WhatsApp was definitely an exciting product,” he said. “We never made an offer to acquire them. Press reports to the contrary are simply untrue.”

Google CEO Eric Schmidt made a similar, though less explicit, denial in a TV interview Monday. The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports: “When asked if Google bid on WhatsApp, Schmidt replied: ‘Not in the way you’re thinking about. We’re certainly aware of them.'”

[The Telegraph]