January 17, 2015 / 2:00 AM / 4 years ago

Google in talks to buy mobile-payments company Softcard: TechCrunch

People are silhouetted as they pose with laptops in front of a screen projected with a Google logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Files

(Reuters) - Google Inc (GOOGL.O) is in talks to buy mobile-payments company Softcard, technology news website TechCrunch reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal could help pair Google with the largest U.S. wireless carriers to battle Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and its new Apple Pay service, TechCrunch wrote.

The deal may be valued below $100 million, the report said citing sources. (tcrn.ch/1xc2Gsg)

Softcard is jointly owned by AT&T Inc (T.N), Verizon Communication Inc’s (VZ.N) Verizon Wireless Inc and T-Mobile US Inc TMUS.N.

Google was not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

“We do not comment on merger speculation,” said a Softcard representative.

Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Wills and Lisa Shumaker

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