Sign up to receive our
daily summary of tech news for free.

Matt Vascellaro
EXCLUSIVE, PART TWO
Facebook Google Venture Capital

Google Was Willing to Beat Facebook’s $19B Offer for WhatsApp

Photo: Matt Vascellaro

Last week, Google CEO Larry Page met with WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum in a last-ditch effort to prevent the rapidly growing messaging app from selling itself to Facebook, according to three people involved in the deal.

The Google chief had learned that a few days before, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had made a pitch to Mr. Koum to join his company and his board of directors, a bold move Mr. Zuckerberg felt he had to make to preserve Facebook’s dominance in online communication in light of WhatsApp’s growing global popularity.

Mr. Page’s message to Mr. Koum: Stay independent as you’ve always planned. You’re a big threat to Facebook. And joining Facebook would have a major impact on “how things play out for years to come,” according to one of the people involved in the talks.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Exclusive Startups Amazon
AI Startups Proliferate as Businesses Look for Savings

Artificial intelligence has taken some punches. For years, IBM’s Watson promised to transform the business world but failed to live up to its own hopes and marketing blitz. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and others vowed to build cars that drive themselves, but they aren’t even close to that goal. In June, The Economist declared: “An understanding of AI’s limitations is starting ...

Latest Briefs
 
Media Mogul Sumner Redstone Dies at 97
Tencent’s Earnings Boosted by Strong Online Games Revenue
Apple Supplier Foxconn Reports Rising Profits Despite Slower Smartphone Sales
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Exclusive Startups E-commerce
Casper’s Sleep Troubles
Hours after Casper Sleep executives rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange to inaugurate the mattress maker’s initial public offering in early February, the mood at the company’s downtown New York offices was celebratory.
Exclusive Enterprise COVID-19
Marc Benioff in Lockdown
Every fall, more than 150,000 people flood a convention center in San Francisco for Dreamforce, the annual conference put on by the city’s largest technology company, Salesforce.
Exclusive
WarnerMedia CEO Unveils Major Reorg that Promotes New Head of Streaming
WarnerMedia on Friday announced a major reorganization that elevates streaming executive Andy Forssell to oversee the company’s global direct-to-consumer business, including HBO Max, reporting directly to new CEO Jason Kilar.
Modest Proposals Facebook Entertainment
Why Instagram’s Reels Rollout Will Slow, but Not Stop, TikTok’s Growth
Last February, I wrote a product teardown of the 10 core product mechanics that make TikTok such a deeply innovative and successful product.
The Briefing Markets Facebook
Facebook Takes On TikTok: The Information’s Tech Briefing
Facebook has never been shy about drawing inspiration from competitors. It was already preparing a rival to TikTok— Instagram Reels —even as concern about TikTok’s Chinese ownership reached a fever pitch in recent months.
Policy
TikTok’s Next Political Fight: Setting Up Shop in London
London— As the geopolitical fight continues between the U.S. and China over the future of TikTok, Chinese owner ByteDance has moved forward with plans to open its first non-U.S.