WhatsApp, the popular smartphone messenger service, has denied rumours that it is in negotiations over a $1 billion takeover bid from Google.
A member of WhatsApp’s senior management team told AllThingsDigital that the company was not holding takeover talks after DigitalTrends.com reported that discussions had been going on for a month, citing an insider source.
It is the second time the cross-platform mobile messaging app, which is reported to earn $100m a year, has been subject to rumours of a big money takeover by a tech giant. In December, it was rumoured that Facebook had made an approach, in reports that WhatsApp deemed “not factually accurate”.
WhatsApp is a relatively new but increasingly influential player in the highly competitive tech market. It processes up to 18 billion messages per day and is already available in 100 countries across 750 mobile networks.
Leading tech companies have already shown an appetite for buying out increasingly popular cross-platform services, with Facebook purchasing photo-sharing service Instagram for $1bn last year.
Google is looking to innovate its own messaging service and is rumoured to be planning to unite all of its chat and messaging services under a new programme called Google Babel, adding to rumours that it might be considering incorporating a WhatsApp style messenger into the service.
A spokesman for Google said the company would not comment on “rumours and speculation”.