The Tech Bet

WhatsApp? Google executive disses Facebook deal

Christina Medici Scolaro
Tech Yeah! Overpaying for Whatsapp

Facebook's $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp is in the news again, and this time it's the reaction from a Google executive that's raising eyebrows.

Google reportedly tried to buy WhatsApp before Facebook's $19 billion deal for the 55-person company.

(Watch: Google lost the WhatsApp deal: Pro)

At a Morgan Stanley tech conference, Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora questioned the price Facebook paid per employee. "$500 million per employee? Is that a good use of our money?" he said, according to The Wall Street Journal, which noted that the price actually works out to $345 million per employee.

"It could certainly be a little sour grapes on Google's part, but I also think it may point to a different way of viewing the deal. It's probably more valuable to Facebook than it is to Google," Engadget senior editor Michael Gorman told CNBC.

"Google is more focused on acquiring talent, while Facebook is more about acquiring users," said Gorman.

"I think Google has positioned itself quite well because it's created an operating system that's going to be running on at least the majority of those smartphones that we see in those emerging markets," said Gorman. "They don't need to limit themselves to just WhatsApp to get in to those markets."

"Valuation is a challenging subject to discuss. The people who believe in the strategic merit of the deal will say the cost doesn't matter," said Scott Kessler, deputy director at S&P Capital IQ.

—By CNBC's Christina Medici Scolaro.