If you can’t beat ’em, buy em.
That’s been Facebook’s strategy lately when it comes to third-party challengers and this afternoon the company announced its making its biggest acquisition yet, scooping up popular messaging app WhatsApp for a cool $12 billion in stock.
Facebook is also tossing in $4 billion in cash as well as $3 billion in restricted stock units bringing the total price tag to an incredible $19 billion.
The restricted stock units that vest over the next four years will be set aside for WhatsApp’s founders and employees.
Addressing concerns about changes resulting from the acquisition WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, Jan Koum posted the following note to users:
“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.”
With over 450 million monthly active users, WhatsApp allows users to send text messages to other users for free without ads. The company offers the app for free, but to aid in the cost of the service users pay $0.99 every year.