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Facebook-WhatsApp Deal Haunted by History of Merger Flops: Tech

Facebook Inc. investors who pushed the company’s shares to a record after it unveiled the $19 billion deal for WhatsApp Inc. would be well served to remember -- every Internet takeover of more than $10 billion has flopped.

Last week’s proposed purchase would be the biggest Web acquisition in more than a decade and only the fifth ever to top that threshold, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That puts it in the same category as AOL’s merger with Time Warner and Terra Network SA’s takeover of Lycos, which later resulted in multibillion-dollar writedowns.