Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt went on CBS to promote his new book and announce a $1 million giveaway for tech innovators. Schmidt was also asked about Google’s interest in acquiring WhatsApp, which ended up being snatched by Facebook for $19 billion.
Schmidt said that the acquisition price was low, especially if Facebook can find additional ways to monetize WhatsApp’s 460 million active users.
“People have been talking about a bubble in technology for years,” stated Schmidt. “The price was low if they make gazillions of dollars off of the customers they’re getting? The price is too high if they can’t monetize.”
Schmidt was asked if Google bid on WhatsApp. He replied by saying: “Not in the way you’re thinking about. We’re certainly aware of them.” He was then asked if Google offered $10 billion for WhatsApp before Facebook outbid them. Schmidt smiled and indicated that he did not want to talk about it anymore. He did say: “Let’s just say that we like WhatsApp…and we like some other things too including our own products.”
In terms of the $1 million giveaway: “I think I should put my money where my mouth is.” “Google’s mission is to connect the world. We want a free, open Internet for everyone in the world,” he added.