Google has penned a $1.1bn (£822m) deal with HTC to pick up a part of the Taiwanese company’s smartphone division, ending speculation that the Alphabet-owned tech giant was planning on acquiring the beleaguered electronics company. The deal is expected to close early next year.
The agreement, which is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, will see a group of HTC employees join Google’s hardware division – though the Silicon Valley giant will not take a stake in HTC. It is believed that around 2,000 people, or half of HTC’s smartphone research and development team, will move over to Google. Many of those making the switch have previously worked with Google on the Pixel smartphone.
Additionally, the deal also includes Google receiving a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.
“It’s still early days for Google’s hardware business,” said Rick Osterloh, SVP for hardware at Google, in a blog post. “We’re focused on building our core capabilities, while creating a portfolio of products that offers people a unique yet delightful experience only made possible by bringing together the best of Google software—like the Google Assistant—with thoughtfully designed hardware.”