That's because Google has apparently forgotten how big it is. Its rumored acquisition of Waze, for $1.3 billion, does raise antitrust issues, as Forbes notes, which could, at minimum, significantly delay the deal's completion. Giants must be careful where they step. Investors have also forgotten that Google does fail, often, and sometimes in spectacular fashion. Google Health is one example. Google Wallet is another. Bloomberg reports that Google has spent $300 million buying developers for Wallet but has yet to achieve any real market penetration. This is because, as with Health, Google doesn't know what its market is. Consumers don't control the payment market any more than they control the health market. Health is controlled by insurers, by hospitals, by people who can spin masses of medical data into actionable intelligence, and who thus have a real incentive to hold tight to it.
Payments are controlled by merchants, and to a lesser extent by banks. Google has spent tons of money trying to convince people they should put their credit card data on their phones and wave those phones around as they spend money. But spend it where? Merchants decide what form of payment to take. Companies such as Square focus on merchants, with a single deal on the back-end, attractive to millions of small merchants. It's the speed of setting up an account, and the simplicity of the deal being offered, that appeals here, in contrast to the complexity banks working for processors offer. This is true even though the bank deal may be a better deal.
Apple may have taken its eye off the ball for a while, but Google has a weakness investors should be considering carefully. When are these people going to learn how to sell something? Considering that investors are paying more than twice as much for Google earnings as for those of Apple, I'd call that a bigger problem. At the time of publication, the author held shares of Apple and Google. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.