Talks between the Internet search giant and the start-up have been on going for at least a month. WhatsApp’s management is said to be pushing for an acquisition price of almost $1 billion.
WhatsApp is said to have annual revenue of about $100 million. The app, which operates in 100 countries, processed 18 billion messages on New Year’s Eve alone. Users pay 99 cents a year to use the service.
The deal with give Google a flashy messaging service, filling a missing link it the company’s mobile communications platform, without having to develop and brand its own service.
Last year, Google paid $1 billion to purchase photo-sharing app Instagram.
Shares of Google fell more than 1% in Monday morning trading.