Facebook (s fb) will acquire messaging company WhatsApp for $16 billion, according to an SEC filing Wednesday. The purchase price includes roughly $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook stock. An additional $3 billion in restricted stock could be paid out over four years to WhatsApp employees.
This is the largest acquisition the social media company has made to date, nearly 16 times as much as the company paid for Instagram in April 2012.
In a blog post, Facebook pointed to some numbers to help illustrate its decision to acquire WhatsApp. The app has 450 million active users, 70 percent of whom are active in a given day, and is adding over a million new registered users each day. And messaging volume within the app is approaching levels equal to SMS messaging globally. That level of adoption seems to be the clincher for Facebook, which…
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