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US: Facebook surprises with $19B acquisition

 |  February 19, 2014

Facebook announced Wednesday that it plans to acquire mobile messaging company WhatsApp in a $19 billion deal that reports say surprised some for the lofty buying price.

The deal comes as Facebook aims to increase its attractiveness to new and younger users, WhatsApp has more than 450 million users around the globe.

Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the news on his Facebook page Wednesday, saying the purchase will “complement” Facebook’s existing messaging capabilities.

The deal marks the social media company’s largest acquisition to date, and includes a $4 billion payment in cash and $12 billion in stock. Another $3 billion will be provided to WhatsApp founders in restricted stock units.

Some experts say the $19 billion sum is shockingly high, especially considering the company’s second-largest acquisition, the $1 billion purchase of photo-sharing application Instagram.

Full Content: Reuters

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