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Google denies bidding for WhatsApp. Zuck meets with worried carriers.

  • Media reports that Google (GOOG +0.5%) made an offer to buy WhatsApp are "simply untrue," says Android/Chrome chief Sundar Pichai. Fortune had reported Google offered $10B for the mobile messaging leader, and others suggested Google was even willing to top Facebook's (FB +0.7%) $19B offer.
  • Pichai's remarks come shortly after Mark Zuckerberg met with top mobile carrier execs, including Vodafone (VOD -1.3%) CEO Vittorio Colao and Orange (ORAN -3.6%) CEO Stephane Richard, to address concerns carriers are being reduced to "dumb pipes" as services such as Facebook and WhatsApp proliferate, and in doing so eat into voice/SMS revenue.
  • Zuck is looking to enlist carriers such as Vodafone and Orange in its Internet.org initiative to provide free access to basic Web services in emerging markets. Colao recently said offering free Facebook access to Vodafone subs "does not make any sense" for the carrier.
  • Meanwhile, WhatsApp rival Telegram has rocketed to the top of App Store charts in many countries since the Facebook deal went down, and WhatsApp saw a weekend outage. Telegram claims to offer better security than alternatives, and also features a Snapchat-like self-delete option for message threads.
  • Though no WhatsApp rivals come close to matching the service's 465M MAUs and network effect, Telegram's growth highlights how rivals can quickly gain a following by leveraging phone contact book listings to connect users.
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Comments (18)
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (2255) | Send Message
     
    Just wait until BBM goes cross-platform voice and video and then it won't only be carriers who are worried!
    26 Feb, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • andypochta1
    , contributor
    Comments (1070) | Send Message
     
    Yogi,
    I've read it goes onto Windows phones now. BBM is highest rated messenger by users so it must be worth few Billions in itself.
    26 Feb, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • Noreika
    , contributor
    Comments (460) | Send Message
     
    BBM? Best Buy Mobile?
    26 Feb, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • monfrere
    , contributor
    Comments (581) | Send Message
     
    blackberry messenger.
    26 Feb, 04:16 PM Reply Like
  • Xvansan
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
     
    Keep pumping BBM. That's a dream for sure. It will make no difference to blackberry in the long run.
    26 Feb, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4336) | Send Message
     
    Not even if someone offers the 19B$ Chen said he'd sell it for?
    28 Feb, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • andypochta1
    , contributor
    Comments (1070) | Send Message
     
    Look like Zuckerberg not only spent twice amount of money that Facebook ever made in 10 years, but he managed to pissed off carriers as well, is weekend Whatsapp outage a coincidence?

     

    He could've bought his own wireless carrier or two with this amount of money, T-Mobile is for sale. Now these "dumb pipes" as they're described above will start charging triple for Whatsapp traffic, why wouldn't they?
    26 Feb, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • Bouchart
    , contributor
    Comments (780) | Send Message
     
    I wouldn't be surprised if Google initially spread those rumors, in an attempt to get FB to overpay for an easily duplicated service.
    26 Feb, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • Patent News
    , contributor
    Comments (1321) | Send Message
     
    who cares if google bid or not?

     

    keep in not whatsapp head of strategy was a senior guy in google's m&a group.

     

    him picking up phone with anyone at google can have constituted a bid..
    26 Feb, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • Guy in Ithaca
    , contributor
    Comments (410) | Send Message
     
    It's very unclear that WhatsApp will actually be the new hot thing even in the near future. While an app and it's technology are critically important so is the social perception behind it. It seems that the rapidly emerging mobile social "organism" is attracted to Telegram Messenger. You simply cannot just buy social perception.

     

    From http://www.theverge.com
    Built by the pioneering Durov brothers behind Russia’s largest social network, VKontakte (also known as VK), Telegram is a messaging service combining the speed of WhatsApp with Snapchat’s ephemerality and advanced new security measures. WhatsApp might have heralded the first time we heard of Telegram, but it certainly won't be the last.
    26 Feb, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4336) | Send Message
     
    Yes, WA is easily duplicated/improved upon. It'd be a good idea for google to buy BBM (but not so good for BBRY, I think).
    28 Feb, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Justin Hohn
    , contributor
    Comments (632) | Send Message
     
    That's just one of several potential rivals. Apple could really expand iMessages to be *the* killer iOS message platform.

     

    With the Android racing to flood the market with cheapies, though, you'd only be able to chat with your friends who similar had the wisdom to buy an Apple product. I jest!
    11 Mar, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • Guy in Ithaca
    , contributor
    Comments (410) | Send Message
     
    The rules are changing very quickly. Telegram Messenger may make the Recent FB acquisition a very expensive error. I do get the massive paradigm shift which exists beyond the numbers at this stage but there are right and wrong choices in any game. FB is no Google. My instincts, which could be wrong, tell me that FB is going down in 2014. I would sooner bet on a massive turnaround for Yahoo.
    26 Feb, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • analysis well
    , contributor
    Comments (19) | Send Message
     
    I feel a major Dixie Chick moment coming on !
    26 Feb, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • satyr
    , contributor
    Comments (792) | Send Message
     
    There seems to be a lot of effort being expended in the news media in an attempt to justify the $19 billion price tag. Most to the arguments center around the number of users. And these people cannot leave WhatsApp? They will, and in a hurry, once they find something they like better. The amount of development that goes into this kind of app is not tremendous, and I see no reason that "customers" would be particularly sticky. Add to that the likelihood that a certain number will leave merely because of the FB association. The same demographic that has largely abandoned FB because it is no longer cool have a tremendous overlap with that which uses WhatsApp.
    27 Feb, 01:49 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4336) | Send Message
     
    And any new rival can do the "first year for free" (or a variant) that'd give them the incentive to swap!
    28 Feb, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • Manitobatex
    , contributor
    Comments (680) | Send Message
     
    is 18% a TREMENDOUS OVERLAP ?
    10 Mar, 09:27 PM Reply Like
  • monfrere
    , contributor
    Comments (581) | Send Message
     
    Manitobatex,

     

    Link please! I've been looking for that stat.
    11 Mar, 08:34 AM Reply Like
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