The rumor coming on the heels of the biggest acquisition in recent memory–Facebook's $19 billion buy of messaging service WhatsApp–was that Google also wanted to snatch up the wildly popular app and at one point had offered a handsome sum.
Fortune cited multiple sources who claimed that Google had offered WhatsApp $10 billion–an amount that more than quadrupled the company's projected valuation at the time.
Now, a top exec at Google is calling that story false.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google SVP Sundar Pichai called the rumor "untrue."
“WhatsApp was definitely an exciting product [but] we never made an offer to acquire them. Press reports to the contrary are simply untrue.”
For what it's worth, he thinks that WhatsApp has a bright future in becoming a valuable communications company.
As The Telegraph points out, the initial Google/WhatsApp rumor claimed that the search giant had entered into a deal with WhatsApp to be told whenever any other company made any offer to buy.
As we now know, Facebook won whatever bidding war did or did not occur. Facebook’s acquisition deal is comprised of $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares, and an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units.
That report wasn't even the first one to pop up concerning a possible Google bid for WhatsApp. A year ago, rumors circulated that Google was in talks to acquire WhatsApp for $1 billion. I'm assuming that Pichai would deny those claims as well.
As for the guy who did pull the trigger on WhatsApp, he thinks it's actually undervalued at $19 billion.
"I think that by itself, [WhatsApp is] worth more than $19 billion," said Mark Zuckerberg at the same conference. He also called it "most engaging app that we've ever seen exist on mobile by far."
Image via WhatsApp, Facebook