Google reportedly made a bid of at least $30 billion to buy Snap in early 2016, around the time the app maker held a fundraising round which valued it at $20 billion.
According to a Business Insider report, talks may also have been held before Snap launched its IPO in March this year and an offer remained on the table since then.
However, a Snap spokesperson said the rumours were untrue, and Google declined to comment.
The report added the offer is an “open secret” among tech insiders and the two companies are very close, with Google parent Alphabet’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt advising Snap CEO Evan Spiegel.
From Google’s point of view, acquiring a popular social media platform would make sense given its own products Google Plus and Google Buzz never really caught on.
As for Snap, it may have made the right decision turning down Facebook’s $3 billion offer four years ago, but since its IPO it has been in troubled waters. Instagram managed to make a clone of one of its most popular features – Snapchat Stories – which is doing better than the original.
What’s more, Snap’s shares are trading at around $12.50, and its market cap of around $14 billion is well below the $24 billion valuation at which it priced its IPO.
Stock prices took a hit when on 31 July early investors and employees were allowed to sell their holdings for the first time since the IPO.
To make matters worse, investors are concerned about user growth and the app maker’s ability to generate revenue, while reports have surfaced it is alienating advertisers, losing them to Instagram.