WhatsApp Reportedly in Talks with Google for $1B Acquisition? [Update]

More rumours point to WhatsApp once again being in talks to be acquired, this time according to a report from Digital Trends (via AppleInsider). The site notes the popular cross-platform messaging app is in negotiations with Google on determining prices for an acquisition:

Messaging app WhatsApp is in the negotiating phase over prices with Google in what could be Google’s next billion dollar acquisition, according to an inside source.

While the deal started four or five weeks ago, we’ve been told that WhatsApp is “playing hardball” and jockeying for a higher acquisition price, which currently is “close to” $1 billion right now.

Less than two weeks ago the Wall Street Journal reported WhatsApp had declined multiple purchase offers from companies such as Facebook, Tencent Holdings and Google. It appears the latter is back in the running if the above report is indeed correct. Last December it was rumoured Facebook was in talks to acquire WhatsApp.

Last week, it was reported Google was set to launch a new cross-platform messaging service named “Babel” to allow communication between iOS, Android and other Google services. Could WhatsApp play a role in this rumoured service?

This January, WhatsApp reported it was now handling 18 billion messages per day, making it one of the biggest cross-platform messaging apps. The popular app was founded by a couple of ex-Yahoo! employees in fall of 2009.

Update April 8, 10PM PDT: WhatsApp has told AllThingsD they are not in discussions with Google to sell the company:

Popular messaging app WhatsApp says it is not in discussion to sell the company to Google.

Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’s business development head, told AllThingsDigital today that the company is not holding sales talks with Google.

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