Re: Skype is doing thef for ages... what's new?
Technologically the WhatsApp deal is not interesting. Skype's been out there for a while, I find the voice / video in Google Hangout's very good, which has the added "bonus" of already working with WebRTC, and there are now even open source solutions out there. However, scaling VOIP up and providing a reliable service for hundreds of millions isn't for the faint-hearted. As many have pointed out: the networks can easily play nastily unless the get cut in.
The money isn't real money - it's mainly a stock deal albeit plus a handsome pay-off for the VCs. Not sure if any of them are on Facebook's board. If so there might be a conflict of interest, except you can't have one for a private company so it would be down to shareholders getting off their butts and taking action (not going to happen as presumably the big ones are in on the pay-off).
No, the deal for Facebook was always about closing down the competition: there shall be one social network and Facebook is its name. Here, money doesn't matter and costs are usually offset against tax anyway (investors will accept lower profits in exchange for higher shareprices because of the favourable treatment of capital gains) and the long term expectation that market domination will lead to monetisation. Personally, I think Rakuten's valuation of Viber was probably close to the money.
Microsoft still thinks it's going to make money from Skype/Lync in the corporate world. One of my clients is big on Microsoft but they're currently rolling out Cisco kit which links into Lync and BBM still dominates the messaging space. But, who knows? Maybe corporates will get worried about the future of BlackBerry and turn to Microsoft.