Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 billion
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Photos: Top tech acquisitions of 2014

Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 billion
In one of the biggest tech deals of all time, Facebook snatched up popular mobile messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion. The deal is Facebook’s largest acquisition thus far and made the company’s 2012 $1-billion purchase of Instagram look like child’s play. WhatsApp was able to sell for so much thanks to its devoted community of more than 400 million users.  (Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty Images)
Google buys Nest for $3.2 billion G
Google kicked off the tech world’s 2014 shopping spree with its early January acquisition of Nest for $3.2 billion. Nest is a pioneer in the so-called “Internet of Things” and sells a smart thermostat as well as a smart smoke alarm called the Nest Protect.  (Nest)
Lenovo buys Motorola from Google for $2.91 billion
After buying Nest, Google sold Motorola for almost as much money -- $2.91 billion to be exact. But it was a poor return on its 2011 $12.5-billion purchase of the phone manufacturer. Google and Motorola were never truly able to mesh, and it appears the Mountain View, Calif., tech giant decided it was better for the two to part ways. Meanwhile, Lenovo bought Motorola hoping the purchase will help it gain a larger foothold in the smartphone market. The Chinese company said it fully intends to compete and beat with Apple and Samsung.  (Josep Lago / AFP/Getty Images)
Facebook buys Oculus for $2 billion
After spending $19 billion on WhatsApp, Facebook easily doled out an additional $2 billion in its acquisition of Oculus, an Irvine startup specializing in virtual reality. Oculus gained a following in the tech and gaming worlds after successfully funding the Rift, a video-gaming headset, through Kickstarter, but its agreement to sell to Facebook upset many of its fans. It’s unclear what Facebook has planned for the company. (Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)
Google buys DeepMind for $500 million
Not long after buying Nest and just before selling Motorola, Google spent half a billion dollars acquiring DeepMind, a British tech company that hoped to one day make computers think like humans. Google may have been most interested in the company’s numerous artificial intelligence experts. (David Ramos / Bloomberg)