Apple, Google Face Off Over Mobile Payments Startup

Apple and Google are headed for a showdown over mobile payments startup BOKU, according to reports. The two tech giants are both in private talks with the San Francisco-based company about a possible acquisition or partnership.

Over the past several weeks, BOKU CEO Mark Britto and co-founder Ron Hirson have held meetings with the head of Apple’s iPhone division, but the company has also been talking with Michael Morrissey, the head of Google Mobile Services for the company’s Android platform, according to TechCrunch.

Exactly what those talks were about, no one is saying. Google might be exploring a full acquisition, or a partnership. Apps on Google’s Android store can already accept BOKU in-app payments.

BOKU’s deals with mobile carriers such as AT&T and Vodafone UK reportedly give it access to 1.6 billion potential customers. And if a bidding war for BOKU does break out, an acquisition price could hit nine figures, TechCrunch speculated. According to one of it’s sources, Apple is prepared to spend between $250 million and $450 million. BOKU was valued at just over $100 million back in January, and has already raised $38 million in funding.