WhatsApp is now part of Facebook

WhatsApp is now part of Facebook

IOL pic oct7 whatsapp facebookAFPFile picture: Justin Sullivan

Los Angeles – The social networking site Facebook completed its $19-billion acquisition of the communication platform WhatsApp Monday, according to the SEC filing.

The Menlo Park California-based company announced the $19-billion deal in February.

Facebook paid $12-billion in shares and $4-billion in cash. The deal also included an additional $3-billion in Facebook stock for WhatsApp founders and employees.

But Facebook shares have increased in value since February, making the deal worth about $21.8-billion.

On Friday, European Union regulators approved the merger.

US regulators also approved the acquisition in April, but warned Facebook that it had to abide by WhatsApp’s stringent privacy practices.

WhatsApp said that the site does not insist on knowing users’ names or email addresses, and does not know their home addresses, employers, birthdates or internet search histories.

The sale of the company to Facebook would not change that, the company said.

The company said it would work independently from Facebook, which is renowned for its appetite for as much user data as possible.

The smartphone app is one of the most popular messaging platforms in cyberspace, with 600 million users worldwide, according to the European Commission, the EU’s executive body.

The instant messaging service allows users to send text, pictures and video messages to anyone with the app. The service is especially popular in Europe, Latin America and parts of Asia. – Sapa-dpa

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