Google and HTC Corporation on Wednesday announced a definitive agreement that Google is taking a team from HTC that developed the Pixel smartphone, and getting access to HTC intellectual property, in exchange for $1.1 billion.
This agreement also supports HTC’s continued branded smartphone strategy, enabling a more streamlined product portfolio, greater operational efficiency and financial flexibility. HTC will continue to have best-in-class engineering talent, which is currently working on the next flagship phone, following the successful launch of the HTC U11 earlier this year.
HTC 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.
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.
The agreement, which is expected to close early in 2018, puts to rest rumours suggesting a deal was in the works. HTC continues to develop its “next flagship phone” and will “continue to build the virtual reality ecosystem to grow its Vive business,” according to a press release. HTC is giving Google a “non-exclusive” license to HTC intellectual property as part of the deal.
“Certain HTC employees, many of whom are already working with Google to develop Pixel smartphones will join Google,” the release said.