Reports that WhatsApp is a takeover target for Google have been rubbished by an executive at the messaging software maker, marking the second occasion that it has been moved to play down speculation that the search giant is sniffing around.

Neeraj Arora, business development head of WhatAppn, told AllThingsD that there is no substance to claims that the firm and Google are in negotiations with a view to enacting a £1 billion acquisition.

Reports suggested that WhatsApp was holding out for a larger fee, mindful of the value of a highly rated messaging solution to Google as it bids to compete with rivals such as BlackBerry’s BBM and Apple’s iMessage.

Google and Facebook are thought to have tabled bids for WhatsApp last year, which publically refused to acknowledge the companies’ interest.

Since then WhatsApp has become the most popular paid-for app in over 100 territories worldwide, with the concomitant user base that comes with that adding to the app’s attractiveness to would-be buyers.



By Jonathan Leggett