WHAT$APP signals bubble or broad undervaluation -- TESLA-APPLE tie-up? -- Google Magic Carpet (MAPS) -- SCHMIDT leaves HR 'paper trail'


February 20, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> DRIVING THE DAY: Facebook buying WhatsApp for $19B, will keep the messaging service independent, by Matthew Panzarino: "The deal is being cut for $12 billion in Facebook shares, $4 billion in cash and an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units for employee retention... A termination fee is attached to the deal that would cost Facebook $1 billion in cash and $1 billion in shares if the deal fails to pass regulatory muster... WhatsApp will continue to operate independently and retain its brand. In addition, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook's board... WhatsApp has over 450 million monthly active users, with 70 percent of those active each day. In a staggering comparison, Facebook also notes that the messaging volume of WhatsApp approaches the SMS volume of the entire global telecom industry -- and that it's adding 1 million users a day." TechCrunch

> TechBrief notes: Facebook bought 2x Twitter's active users for half of Twitter's market cap

> WhatsApp: The inside story Wired

> WhatsApp acquisition is largest ever for venture-backed company Wall Street Journal/Digits

> Facebook-WhatsApp: The other numbers deal takes 35% of Facebook's cash; Sequioa will make $3.4B Fortune

> Zuck says ads aren't the way to monetize messaging, WhatsApp will prioritize growth not subscriptions TechCrunch

> How WhatsApp used Erlang to scale to millions of simultaneous connections Erland Factory (PDF)

> Google offered to buy WhatsApp for $10B Fortune

> With WhatsApp off the market, who's the next big OTT acquisition target? GigaOM

> Everyone who thinks Facebook is stupid to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion should think again... Business Insider

> Follow the photos: The real reason Facebook just paid almost 10% of its market cap for WhatsApp Pando

> Four numbers that explain why Facebook acquired WhatsApp Sequoia Capital

>> NET NEUTERED: Wheeler unveils new proposed rules for network neutrality, will try to stop 'improper blocking', by Jeff John Roberts: "The FCC announced its response to an explosive court decision that ended 'net neutrality' last month: it will not appeal the decision, but scramble to impose new rules." GigaOM

> Cue the hyperbole and hysteria: FCC outlines timid, murky plan to (maybe) defend net neutrality TechDirt

> Surprise! AT&T, Comcast seem open to new net neutrality regs PCWorld

> The FCC has a plan to save net neutrality, but no one likes it The Verge

> Google Fiber chooses nine metro areas, 34 cities, for possible expansion Ars Technica >> MONEY SHOT: Loop Wallet review: mobile payments are finally everywhere you want to be, by Ellis Hamburger: "Loop tricks any cash register into thinking your phone is your credit card... Loop comes in two flavors, for now: a $39 key fob and a $99 Mophie-esque ChargeCase. Both devices hold virtual versions of your credit and debit cards, and work at over 90 percent of the country's credit card machines without retailers having to change anything, according to Loop. The Fob and ChargeCase work only with the iPhone, for now, but they will be compatible with Android in April. In 2015, Loop expects its technology to be built into a variety of phones from its OEM partners... It's the NFC dream all over again, except this time it might actually come true." The Verge

> How Mastercard and Visa just made banks the next big players in mobile payments, with host card emulation Re/code

>> INTO THE WILD: The new Google Maps for desktop rolls out to the masses, by Lauren Hockenson: "The maps are larger and easier to read, and the new design places an emphasis on being 'smart': users can not only bring up directions to a location, but also find the most efficient method of transport to get there (factoring in real-time traffic reports) and nearby places to stop. There's also an enhanced street view mode, which is helpful to view routes or virtually sight-see new places." GigaOM

> 5 things you have to see in the new Google Maps PCMag

>> DIGITAL NATIVES: Scrutiny in California for software in schools, by Natasha Singer: "A leading California lawmaker plans to introduce state legislation on Thursday that would shore up privacy and security protections for the personal information of students in elementary through high school, a move that could alter business practices across the nearly $8 billion education technology software industry. The bill would prohibit education-related websites, online services and mobile apps for kindergartners through 12th graders from compiling, using or sharing the personal information of those students in California." New York Times

> Google Capital lands $300M and leaps into web education Bloomberg

> Google Capital invests $40M in learning analytics firm Renaissance Learning at $1B valuation TechCrunch

>> SMOKING GUN: 'I don't want to create a paper trail': Inside the secret Apple-Google pact, by Josh Harkinson: "Documents filed in conjunction with litigation... offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of interactions among the likes of Apple's Steve Jobs, Google's Eric Schmidt, and Intuit Chairman Bill Campbell. In early 2005, the documents show, Campbell brokered an anti-recruitment pact between Jobs and Schmidt, confirming to Jobs in an email that 'Schmidt got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple.' On the day of that email, Apple's head of human resources ordered her staff to 'please add Google to your 'hands off' list.' Likewise, Google's recruiting director was asked to create a formal 'Do Not Cold Call List' of companies with which it had 'special agreements' not to compete for employees. A few months later, Schmidt instructed a fellow exec not to discuss the no-call list other than 'verbally,' he wrote in an email, 'since I don't want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later?'" Mother Jones

>> Tesla CEO confirms 'conversations' with Apple, says any acquisition 'very unlikely' MacRumors

>> Cisco expands virtualization offerings for service providers Data Center Knowledge

>> Cloud-based payroll app ZenPayroll raises $20M from General Catalyst and Kleiner at a $100M-plus valuation TechCrunch

>> How Facebook flipped the data centre hardware market The Register

>> Famo.us public beta launch set for mid-April InfoWorld

>> Stealthy security company Apprity raises $8M TechCrunch

>> Yahoo's Gemini gives advertisers a new way to sell ads in mobile search VentureBeat

>> How one scammer manipulated Apple's Top charts to earn tens of thousands daily using a $10 GameSalad template TechCrunch

>> Omidyar's First Look to hire fierce Wall Street critic Matt Taibbi, from Rolling Stone New York Times

>> University of Maryland hacked; 309,000 Social Security numbers stolen LA Times

>> Google I/O is back June 25-26 and you'll need to win a lottery to attend The Verge

>> Yandex offers apps-and-services bundle to help others build non-Google Android devices GigaOM

>> 'We need the iPhone of guns': Will smart guns transform the gun industry? WaPo

>> New Tinder security flaw exposed users' exact locations for months BloombergBusinessweek

>> Nokia Lumia Icon: The best Windows Phone ever still disappoints Wired

>> Mt. Gox protesters still without bitcoin answers InfoWorld

>> HAD TO RUN IT: Winklevoss brothers offer an index to track price of bitcoin -- the Winkdex New York Times

>> BITCOIN: $601 Coinbase

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "Both WhatsApp and @getsecret represent the ascendency of the phone book over the friend graph. It's back to the future." @DavidSacks

FEED ME, SEYMOUR: Comments? Questions? Tips? Shoot mail to Trent or Woody. Follow @gegax or @woodyleonhard.

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