Google has completed its acquisition of WhatsApp for $15bn, a deal that will enable the US technology giant to expand its reach across the country.
Facebook will take on $2bn of debt as part of the deal, which will allow the company to buy back shares of WhatsApp as well as WhatsApp-branded devices.
As part of a move to cut costs and become more transparent, WhatsApp has also changed its corporate structure.
The new structure will see WhatsApp’s parent company, WhatsApp India, merge with a separate group called WhatsApp Ventures.
“We are extremely excited about the new structure,” said Ben Thompson, Facebook’s VP of global product management.
“We look forward to working with WhatsApp to help it build its future with the Indian users it is so important to.
The WhatsApp India team is very excited to be part of this deal and look forward the opportunities to build a great future together.”
The deal was announced on Tuesday by WhatsApp CEO Sundar Pichai, who called it a “transformational move” for the company.
“The WhatsApp India business is our fastest-growing market segment and our commitment to India is unmatched.
We are very excited about this acquisition, and look to grow its business in the future,” he said in a statement.
Pichai’s move came after Facebook bought Instagram for $1.7bn in 2016.
The deal also comes as India continues to see growth in mobile advertising.
In February, Facebook acquired mobile ad giant Google for $2.8bn, as part with a strategy to use its advertising technology to help advertisers target more than 4 billion people.
India accounts for over a quarter of the world’s internet users, but is also the second-most-populous country in terms of the number of smartphone users.
Ahead of the Facebook acquisition, WhatsApp CEO Nikhil Krishnamurthy said the company had also been working on a number of deals to build an ad network in India.