Google is reported to have offered to buy WhatsApp in a last-ditch attempt for more than $19bn, but was refused by the WhatsApp co-founders.
Page supposedly told Koum to stay independent, as WhatsApp was "a big threat to Facebook". A source claiming to be involved in the deal said Page mentioned how joining Facebook would have a major impact on "how things play out for years to come".
Another speculated reason WhatsApp declined Google's offer is that Koum was not offered a seat on its board of directors, unlike Facebook.
Facebook is alleged to have approached WhatsApp some six months ago, offering to pay the startup in exchange for being notified of any acquisition talks it may enter into with other companies, which WhatsApp declined.
A Google source reportedly said WhatsApp misunderstood Page's intentions, and that he was merely encouraging them to maintain their independence.
Cross-platform instant messaging mobile app WhatsApp allows users to send messages and share pictures and audio via the internet for free.
The deal gives Facebook access to the 450 million people who use WhatsApp’s service every month, effectively turning one of its biggest potential threats into a valuable ally.
The total amount of $19bn consists of $4bn in cash, $12bn in Facebook shares and $3bn restricted stock awards for WhatsApp’s founders and employees.