Google is reportedly nearing a deal to acquire popular over-the-top messaging application WhatsApp for around $1 billion.

Digital Trends is saying that the deal has been in the works for four or five weeks already and that WhatsApp is pushing to drive up the bidding price.

The rumored deal comes as leaks begin to surface indicating Google plans to unite all of its communications services under the Babel moniker.

Google has been linked to rumors of a Whatsapp acquisition before and WhatsApp last year denied reports that Facebook was close to acquiring it.

WhatsApp has earned a lot of users by providing a cheap, multimedia alternative to SMS. The app, which charges $0.99 per year to its users, is still the number two paid app in Apple’s App Store and it has lodged more than 2.6 million downloads on the Google Play mobile app storefront.

Update: WhatsApp business development head Neeraj Arora has told The Wall Street Journal's All Things D blog that his company is not holding sales talks with Google.