UPDATE: Google buys part of HTC's smarpthone division for $1.1 billion
By Mike Murphy
Google bolsters hardware offerings; tech giants had teamed up on Pixel
Google and HTC Corp. announced a $1.1 billion cooperation agreement Wednesday night, as the U.S. tech giant moved to bolster its hardware offerings.
The agreement had been expected, and HTC's stock had been halted on the Taiwan exchange pending the announcement.
Alphabet Inc.'s Google and HTC already work together to produce the Pixel smartphone. HTC will receive $1.1. billion in cash, and in exchange, a number of HTC employees -- many of whom work on Pixel production already -- will join Google, the companies said in a joint statement. Separately, Google will receive HTC intellectual property through a non-exclusive licensing agreement.
"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," Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of hardware at Google, said in a statement.
HTC once owned about 9% of the global smartphone market, but has fallen behind in recent years to Apple Inc. (AAPL) , Samsung Electronics Co. (005930.SE) and cheaper Chinese manufacturers. It will continue to run its own smartphone operations as well as develop the Vive virtual-reality headset.
"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 Chairwoman and CEO Cher Wang said in a statement.