Facebook said on Wednesday that it would acquire WhatsApp, a messaging start-up, for $16billion in cash and stock.

The eye-popping price is Facebook’s largest acquisition by far, and marks a new height in the frenzy to acquire popular technology start-ups.

Facebook will pay $4 billion in cash and $12 billion worth of Facebook shares for WhatsApp. An additional $3billion in restricted stock units will be granted to WhatsApp employees and founders. These units will vest over the next four years.


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