After the $19-billion WhatsApp deal was announced, I wrote a little blog post about where it ranked among other tech deals. I included the line:
"One day later, Silicon Valley is still trying to pick its collective jaw off the floor following news that Facebook is going to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion."
No prize-winning prose by any stretch. But as I was reading more about the deal that day, and in the following day, the reference stuck in my head.
Suddenly, I began to experience that same feeling that I got when I bought a red AMC Pacer Wagon and suddenly it seemed like they were everywhere on the road. Were there really more of them, or was I just noticing it more because now I owned one?
The Wall Street Journal: "WhatsApp Inc., the popular mobile messaging service that signed a $19 billion deal with Facebook Inc. last week, said on Monday it would begin offering voice calls, a step toward justifying its jaw-dropping price tag."
WSJ, Part Deux: "The sale to Facebook values the 55 employees of WhatsApp at a jaw-dropping $345.5 million per staffer, about four-and-a-half times more than the previous record, which was set when Facebook on-boarded Instagram’s staff of 35 for a billion dollars in 2012."
Re/Code (2-for-1 special!): "Everyone in a room I was in today dropped their jaws in disbelief when I told them the news that Facebook had forked over $19 billion to buy the global mobile messaging service WhatsApp. It's most definitely a big number — and, really, jaw-dropping — for the social networking site to pay for one of the most popular communications apps around."
Gigaom: "Another day and another acquisition — and another one that is jaw dropping and seemingly insane."
New York Times (using the backhand approach): "As fellow tech giants have reached billion-dollar deals in recent years to add significant new arms to their businesses — like Facebook buying WhatsApp for as much as $19 billion, and Microsoft buying Nokia's handset business for more than $7.1 billion — Apple has ventured down a different path. The company has avoided jaw-dropping takeovers in favor of a series of smaller deals, using the companies to buttress or fill a gap in products that already exist or are in development."
USA Today: "When Facebook said it would plunk down $16 billion for WhatsApp, I thought the folks in Menlo Park, Calif., had committed a serious typo. It must be a jaw-dropping $1.6 billion, not an earth-shaking $16 billion."
FoxBusiness: "Yet, the jaw-dropping deal, which is valued at about 8% of Facebook's market cap, is getting applause by analysts, and shares of Facebook are only off a mere 2% despite shelling out that colossal amount of cash and stock."
ABC News: "Now to a blockbuster tech deal. Facebook is expanding its empire. What a deal this is, Facebook is buying whatsapp for $19 billion. The largest acquisition ever. Facebook pays a jaw-dropping $19 billion for an app. An app."
TechCrunch: "Monetization was the big topic on today’s analyst call after Facebook announced it acquired WhatsApp for a jaw-dropping total of $19 billion."
Finally, given that we all leaned on the same crutch, I should give some props to the good folks at Reuters, who at least went to the trouble of reaching for a different part of the face to describe the deal:
"Facebook Inc's purchase of fast-growing messaging startup WhatsApp for an eye-popping $19 billion largely won approval from analysts, who said the deal made strategic sense as it will solidify the social network's position as a leader in mobile."