Facebook plans to acquire the messaging service WhatsApp, the company announced on Wednesday.
The move marks the social giant’s biggest acquisition to date, as Facebook paid $16 billion in cash and stock for the company. In addition, the deal includes another $3 billion in restricted stock units for WhatsApp employees, which will vest over a period of time.
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.
As a result of the deal, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook’s board of directors.
Wow. That’s the biggest deal I’ve ever heard of. And Facebook just bought Instagram for $2 billion. A mere $2 billion.