Google was flirting with WhatsApp before Faceboo swooped in and bought the text-messaging service for $19 billion last month. Wednesday, a top Google executive suggested Facebook overpaid.
At the Morgan Stanley technology conference in San Francisco, analyst Scott Devitt asked Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora how Google might generate revenue from its Android mobile operating system other than through advertising and sharing revenue from apps.
Arora asked Devitt for suggestions. The analyst mentioned mobile messaging apps, which are especially popular in Asia.
Arora was skeptical. “$500 million per employee? Is that a good use of our money?” Arora said. “Are you recommending we buy some Asian messaging service?”
WhatsApp has 55 employees, meaning Facebook’s acquisition works out to $345 million per employee. A Facebook spokesman declined to comment.
I don’t disagree with what Google is saying, but do you think they may also sound a little bitter about not getting the deal themselves?