Facebook’s WhatsApp Deal Has Mobile Carriers Flustered
Facebook‘s (NASDAQ:FB) Mark Zuckerberg spent his Tuesday night schmoozing with telecom executives in Barcelona, apparently discussing Facebook’s interest in mobile internet, Bloomberg reports. At the dinner, which happened at a Barcelona apartment, were 20 executives, many from top phone companies.
The dinner occurred mere days after Facebook secured a deal to buy popular messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion, which, contrary to popular belief, Facebook did not snatch out from under Google’s nose. A recent report form the Telegraph notes that Google never made an offer to acquire the popular mobile messaging service.
“WhatsApp was definitely an exciting product,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior Vice President said at the Mobile World Congress. “We never made an offer to acquire them. Press reports to the contrary are simply untrue,” per the Telegraph.
Zuckerberg was in Barcelona for the same gathering where he was the keynote speaker. The Facebook CEO, however, failed to captivate his audience. Rather than enlighten the crowd on the company’s motivations for buying WhatsApp, he instead spoke of bringing Facebook for free to more users in the developing world using mobile internet.
The aforementioned dinner followed suit: Zuckerberg and other industry executives discussed Facebook’s plan to team up with wireless operators in order to help connect more people in emerging markets over the internet for free.