The WhatsApp buy is Facebook’s biggest acquisition and comes less than two years after Mark Zuckerberg raised $16 billion from its IPO
Social networking company Facebook said it would buy WhatsApp, the fast-growing mobile messaging service for $19 billion in cash and stock.
The deal bolsters the world’s biggest social network by adding the 450 million users of WhatsApp, which will be operated independently with its own board.
It is Facebook’s biggest acquisition and comes less than two years after Mark Zuckerberg’s company raised $16 billion in the richest tech sector public stock offering.
The purchase includes $12 billion in Facebook shares and $4 billion cash. It calls for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp founders and employees that will vest over four years.
“The acquisition supports Facebook and WhatsApp’s shared mission to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core Internet services efficiently and affordably,” Facebook said in a statement.
Facebook reportedly sought to acquire another hot messaging company, Snapchat, for $3 billion last year.
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” said Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and chief executive.
“I’ve known (WhatsApp founder) Jan (Koum) for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”
WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile app which allows users to exchange messages without having to pay telecom charges.
“Almost five years ago we started WhatsApp with a simple mission: building a cool product used globally by everybody. Nothing else mattered to us,” Koum said in a blog post.
“Today we are announcing a partnership with Facebook that will allow us to continue on that simple mission. Doing this will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand, while giving me, (co-founder) Brian (Acton), and the rest of our team more time to focus on building a communications service that’s as fast, affordable and personal as possible,” Koum added.
Isn’t it more sensible and imperative that instead of Rs10 notes, currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000 be issued in polymer, particularly when we know that the elections are around the corner?
In the early part of this month, just a couple of weeks ago, in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Finance, Namo Narain Meena, stated that "plastic" notes in the denomination of Rs10 will be introduced on a pilot basis, in the second half of 2014.
Moneylife has, in the past, carried several stories on this subject, right from the introduction of polymer currency notes in Australia, more than 25 years ago, and how, some 23 more countries have since followed this concept, not only to bring a long shelf life to notes but protecting themselves from counterfeiting that is rampant in many parts of the world.
Earlier articles include:
India is no exception, as the flood of Rs500 and Rs1,000 fake Indian currency notes have been minted and pushed into the Indian market by Pakistan. Irrefutable forensic evidence was also detailed by the Government, and these were published in the Moneylife.
Earlier articles include:
Introduction of polymer currency notes has been talked about for quite sometimes, almost one year. Dr KC Chakrabarty, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), while on a visit to Karnataka, in May last year, mentioned that trials were taking place in selected cities such as Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Shimla and Bhubaneshwar. This was widely reported in the press. So, to hear about such a trial measure again, being stated in the Lok Sabha, in an answer to a written question, the matter is confusing, to say the least.
Simply put, we need to get a clear cut answer, from someone in authority like Dr Chakraborty, whether or not such a move has already taken place? And if so, what was the need for making a trial to print Rs10 plastic (polymer) currency notes? These are NOT the ones that are being counterfeited! Does not the government have enough forensic proof to nail Pakistan down and take up the issue with them? Is it not more sensible and imperative that instead of Rs10 notes, currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000 be issued in polymer, particularly when we know that the elections are around the corner?
More details of seized fake currencies in circulation have come to be confirmed, and this time, by finance minister, P Chidambaram, while giving a written reply to a question raised in Rajya Sabha! He stated that fake Indian currencies with face value of Rs23.66 crore were seized in 2010; it rose to Rs31.46 crore in 2011, and Rs34.57 crore in 2012. For the first half of 2013, till about June, Rs17.74 crore worth of these fake notes were seized!
In the meantime, in the IT city of Bangalore, the aam aadmi is noticing a strange phenomenon, and that of sudden appearance of crisp, freshly minted (pun not intended, but factual) notes of Rs5 and Rs10 denomination being pushed into circulation! All these are pre-2005 mintage! Where were they before being brought out, strangely, for distribution now? Someone is unloading tonnes of this currency into the market, and how they mysteriously appear, no body knows! But, these are in circulation and aam aadmi has no choice but to accept and pass on!
The other factor is the non-availability of coins. In the past, the metal content of a coin, has been found to be more than the face value of the coin, resulting in collection to melt! Only recently the one rupee coin has started appearing in the market, in reasonable quantities, while, those of 50 paise simply vanished and petty shop keepers were, and still are, happy to push a candy in lieu, when selling items, which are valued fractionally, such as some newspapers that are priced at Rs3.50!
All said and done, one hopes that RBI will review the matter of polymer currency notes, and bring forward the introduction date by brining in these in the denomination of Rs500 and Rs1,000. This will be a great relief to the market, and, in the meantime, it is hoped that the security and customs inspectors take vigilant care from counterfeit notes coming into India, through "friendly" neighbourhood countries!
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)
The Supreme Court said that appropriate government has the power to remit sentence but it has to follow the laid down procedure
Stalling the Jayalalithaa government’s decision to free all the assassins of Rajiv Gandhi, the Supreme Court on Thursday restrained the Tamil Nadu government from releasing all seven convicts and directed it to maintain status quo.
The apex court issued notice to the State government and all the convicts.
The court has asked the Tamil Nadu government to file a reply within two weeks and posted the case for hearing for 6th March.
The apex court said that appropriate government has the power to remit sentence but it has to follow the laid down procedure.
Earlier in the day, holding that the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was an attack on India’s soul, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the release of his killers would be “contrary to all principles of justice” and the Tamil Nadu government has been told not to proceed with it as it is “not legally tenable”.
In a statement, he said that no government or party should be soft in the fight against terrorism, an apparent reference to the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, which yesterday decided to release all the seven convicts in the assassination case after the Supreme Court commuted death sentence of three of them to life imprisonment.
“The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was an attack on the soul of India,” Singh said in the statement issued soon after the government moved a review petition in the Supreme Court on the “fundamental issues of law”.
“The release of the killers of a former Prime Minister of India and our great leader, as well as several other innocent Indians, would be contrary to all principles of justice,” Manmohan Singh asserted.
He said the Centre has “informed the Tamil Nadu government that their proposed course of action to release the killers of Rajiv Gandhi is not legally tenable and should not be proceeded with.”
The Jayalalithaa government on Wednesday decided to set free all seven convicts in the assassination case after the apex court had commuted the death penalty of three of them to life imprisonment.
Besides Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, who earned a major reprieve on 18th February from the apex court which spared them from the gallows, Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran are the other four convicts whose release was decided by the Tamil Nadu government.
Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan are currently lodged in the Central Prison, Vellore, in Tamil Nadu and they have been in jail since 1991.
Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran, are undergoing a life sentence for their role in the assassination of Gandhi on 21 May 1991 in Sriperumbudur.
The Supreme Court had commuted the death sentence of Murugan, Santhan (both Sri Lankan Tamils) and AG Perarivalan on the ground of 11 years delay in deciding their mercy pleas by the Centre.
It had also rejected the Centre’s submission that there was no unreasonable delay in deciding their mercy plea and the condemned prisoners did not go through agonising experience as they were enjoying life behind the bars.
Gandhi’s assassins were convicted by a TADA court in January 1998 and were awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the apex court 11 May 1999.