It looks like the rumors were indeed true: Google has signed an agreement with HTC to acquire a part of the Taiwanese company’s mobile division – specifically the team behind the Google Pixel and Pixel XL – for a tidy sum of US$1.1 billion (~RM4.62 billion).
HTC yesterday halted trading of its shares on the Taiwanese Stock Exchange due to a ‘major announcement’, which naturally sent the rumor mill into overdrive. HTC was quick to respond to speculation about a potential sale, saying that it ‘does not comment on market rumor or speculation’, but it looks like the cat is finally out of the bag.
“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,” said Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google in a blog post.
The agreement also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property, which means Google will have the rights to use the HTC brand on its future range of smartphones, similarly to what HMD Global has done with the Nokia brand.
According to Reuters, Google will not be obtaining a direct stake in HTC as part of the agreement, and HTC will still be able to manufacture smartphones of their own. And that’s a good thing, considering that its most recent flagship, the HTC U11, signaled a return to form for the smartphone maker.