WhatsApp denies billion dollar Google buy-out

WhatsApp has denied claims that it is in acquisition talks with Google, despite reports that the search giant was offering a healthy $1bn for the cross-platform messaging service. Chatter of a potential buy-out began earlier this week, but according to WhatsApp business development lead Neeraj Arora it's not accurate; he told AllThingsD that no talks were ongoing.

Arora "declined to comment further," the site says. It's not the first time WhatsApp has been linked with a potential big suitor, however; back in December, Facebook was tipped as the interested party, though no deal ever publicly emerged.

The Google link, however, has been a timely one, with recent leaks of what's said to be Google Babel, the company's new messaging system. That, rumors claim, is an amalgam of all of the existing Google messaging, VoIP, and chat services into a single platform, for use on the desktop, in the cloud, and on Android phones and tablets.

WhatsApp was, so the original rumors suggested, to be baked into Babel too, bringing its existing footprint of iOS and Android users with it. The app supports text, multimedia, and location sharing, and is subscription based for the most part, though some Android users in select locations get advertising-supported service.