Google pushes Microsoft around using its billions

Google just bought Softcard – one of the only mobile wallets with the partnerships in place to give Apple Pay a run for its money. And what’s the first thing Google does? Kills the Windows app.Facebook, Google Enter Into Ad Deal

Google, which has amassed more than $65 billion in cash and investments from its an essential monopoly in online search, bought Softcard for an undisclosed sum this week. Softcard was created in 2010 by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon to allow consumers to make wireless digital payments with their smartphones – even before the words Apple Pay were uttered.

But what’s interesting is how Google is using its search cash by shut down a competition to get a leg up in the emerging area of online payments. Softcard worked with both Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Google’s Android — making it one of the only legitimate competition to Apple Pay, which only works with the latest iPhones. But that came to an end after the purchase. “The Softcard for Windows Phone app also be terminated. A specific termination date will be provided soon,” according to the FAQ.

It’s a bit of an curious turn in events. Microsoft was prevented from buying Intuit in the late 1990s by the U.S. Department of Justice because it was viewed as anti-competitive. Regulators at the time feared Microsoft was hoping to use its dominance in desktop systems to extend into electronic finance. Google plans to integrate Softcard into it’s own Wallet, which has failed so far to catch on with consumers.