Google and HTC have struck a deal worth US$1.1 billion ($1.37 billion) for the Californian tech powerhouse to acquire part of the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s operations.
Specifically, the two companies have inked a definitive agreement that sees certain HTC employees, many of whom are already working with Google to develop the company’s Pixel smartphones, join Google.
In return, HTC – which is the manufacturer behind Google’s Pixel smartphone – will receive US$1.1 billion in cash from the tech company, as part of the transaction.
Separately, Google will receive a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property (IP).
In a joint statement the companies said that the agreement is a “testament to the decade-long strategic relationship between HTC and Google around the development of premium smartphones”.
For Google, the deal substantially furthers its efforts in the smartphone space and extends its overall investment in its emerging hardware business.
Additionally, the agreement also represents a significant investment by Google in Taiwan as a key innovation and technology hub, the companies said.
“HTC has been a longtime partner of Google and has created some of the most beautiful, premium devices on the market,” said Google’s senior vice president of hardware, Rick Osterloh. “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.”
For HTC chairwoman and CEO, Cher Wang, the agreement is a “brilliant” next step in the companies’ longstanding partnership.
“We believe HTC is well positioned to maintain our rich legacy of innovation and realise the potential of a new generation of connected products and services,” Wang said.
In a blog post, Osterloh said that the agreement with HTC will fuel more product innovation in the years ahead, as the HTC team included in the deal comes across to work directly with Google.
“These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we're excited to see what we can do together as one team. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property,” he said.
“It’s still early days for Google’s hardware business. 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…with thoughtfully designed hardware.
“HTC has been a longtime partner and has created some of the most beautiful, high-end devices on the market. We can't wait to welcome members of the HTC team to join us on this journey,” he said.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, is expected to close by early 2018.