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February 20, 2014 AT 5:49 AM
Facebook Inc's $19 billion bid for fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp sent shares of BlackBerry Ltd higher before the opening bell on Thursday as investors placed bets that the smartphone maker's own messaging platform has been undervalued. BlackBerry shares were up as much as 9 percent in trading after the bell on Wednesday as the deal boosts valuation metrics around the company's own BlackBerry Messaging service. BlackBerry Messaging, or BBM, was a pioneering mobile-messaging service, but its user base has failed to keep pace with that of WhatsApp and other upstarts, in part because BlackBerry had long refused to open the service to users on other platforms.