Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion

Update: The deal’s terms have been clarified. The transaction involves $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in stock and $3 billion in restricted stock that vests over several years – totalling $19 billion.

Original story: Social networking company Facebook Inc said it would buy mobile messaging company WhatsApp for about $16 billion in cash and stock.

Facebook said it would pay $4 billion in cash and about $12 billion in stock.

Facebook said WhatsApp co-founder and chief executive Jan Koum would join Facebook’s board.

WhatsApp posted the following message on its company blog:

Almost five years ago we started WhatsApp with a simple mission: building a cool product used globally by everybody. Nothing else mattered to us.

Today we are announcing a partnership with Facebook that will allow us to continue on that simple mission. Doing this will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand, while giving me, Brian, and the rest of our team more time to focus on building a communications service that’s as fast, affordable and personal as possible.

Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.

WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you’re using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication. There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.

On a personal note, Brian and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a small team of people who, in just under five years, built a communication service that now supports over 450 million monthly active users worldwide and over 320 million daily active users. They have helped re-define and revolutionize communication for the 21st century, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

Our team has always believed that neither cost and distance should ever prevent people from connecting with their friends and loved ones, and won’t rest until everyone, everywhere is empowered with that opportunity. We want to thank all of our users and everybody in our lives for making this next chapter possible, and for joining us as we continue on this very special journey.

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Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion