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Google pays HTC $1.1bn ahead of Pixel 2 launch, acquires part of HTC's smartphone operation

Ahead of the Pixel 2launch, Google has acquired part of HTC's smartphone business for $1.1 billion, paid to HTC in cash. Referring it as a Cooperation Agreement, many of the HTC employees who worked on Pixel smartphones will join Google.

twitter-logo Nidhi Singal   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 21, 2017  | 12:34 IST
Google bites off big piece of HTC in $1.1b bet on devices

Ahead of the Pixel 2 launch, Google has acquired part of HTC's smartphone business for $1.1 billion, paid to HTC in cash. Referring it as a Cooperation Agreement, many of the HTC employees who worked on Pixel smartphones will join Google. Google will also receive HTC IP through Non-Exclusive Licensing Agreement. Google and HTC had a decade-long strategic relationship around development of premium smartphones that started with the first Android smartphone G1, announced a decade ago. Google's first Pixel smartphone was also manufactured by HTC.

For Google, this agreement further reinforces its commitment to smartphones and overall investment in its emerging hardware business. In addition to the talented and experienced team of professionals, Google will continue to have access to HTC's IP to support the Pixel smartphone family. Additionally, this agreement also represents a significant investment by Google in Taiwan as a key innovation and technology hub. Even after this agreement, HTC will continue to come up with its flagship smartphones and will also continue to build the virtual reality ecosystem to grow its VIVE business, while investing in other next- generation technologies, including the Internet of Things, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

"As a pioneer of the smartphone market, we are very proud of our history of innovation. Our unmatched smartphone value chain, including our IP portfolio, and world-class talent and system integration capabilities, have supported Google in bolstering the Android market," said Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO of HTC. "This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses. We believe HTC is well positioned to maintain our rich legacy of innovation and realize the potential of a new generation of connected products and services."

"HTC has been a longtime partner of Google and has created some of the most beautiful, premium devices on the market," said Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google. "We're excited and can't wait to welcome members of the HTC team who will be joining Google to fuel further innovation and future product development in consumer hardware."

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, is expected to close by early 2018.

 

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