Google Exec Implies Facebook Was Nuts To Pay $16 Billion For WhatsApp

If you thought Mark Zuckerberg and company were out of their minds to approve a $19 billion (with a "B") acquisition of WhatsApp, an instant messaging service, you're not alone. Sitting on the other side of the social networking aisle is Google, which knows a thing or two about spending crazy amounts of money on acquisitions, and as far as one of Google's top executives is concerned, Facebook overpaid.

That executive is Nikesh Arora, Google's Chief Business Officer, and he made his feelings known during a Morgan Stanley technology conference when an analyst asked him about generating revenue from mobile messaging apps, which he pointed out are especially popular in Asia.

WhatsApp Mobile
Image Source: Flickr (Sam Azgor)

"$500 million per employee? Is that a good use of our money? Are you recommending we buy some Asian messaging service?," Arora responded, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Arora's math is a little off, though Facebook's acquisition still breaks down to around $345 million per each of WhatsApp's 55 employees. Google might be a little scorned that it lost out. It's been reported that WhatsApp rejected a $10 billion from Google, and if that's true, then Google was essentially offering more than $181 million per employee.