Google is said to be well into negotiations with the team behind WhatsApp, with the search giant reportedly considering a $1 billion price tag for the popular cross-platform messaging app.
Sources reportedly close to the negotiations tell Digital Trends that Google is looking to acquire the popular messaging app, and that WhatsApp's team is "playing hardball," holding out for an acquisition price close to $1 billion. Bringing WhatsApp into the fold would likely provide Google with a faster route to unifying its disparate messaging services — Google Voice, Google Hangouts, Google Talk, etc — making it more capable of competing in the communication segment against Internet rival Facebook.
Such a service unification may be high up on Google's priorities list right now. Rumors have the search leader working on a project known as Babble, which would provide cross-platform communications between its services. The rumored WhatsApp negotiations could be a means of bringing an accomplished team into Google's own operations, as Google did when it acquired popular iOS mail app Sparrow in July.