Google’s Billion-Dollar Deal for HTC’s Smartphone Team

HTC’s smartphone division is moving over to Google in a $1.1 billion cash deal with the technology giant.

The Taiwan-based smartphone developer confirmed today they are sending 2,000 employees to the Alphabet-owned tech giant, continuing what Google calls their “big bet” on hardware.

HTC manufactures Google’s Pixel smartphone, which was first introduced last fall. Many of the employees moving over to Google have already worked on the Pixel smartphone line.

HTC CEO Cher Wang said the company is proud of their history of innovation as a pioneer in the smartphone market. HTC started building Android-enabled smartphones in 2009.

“Our unmatched smartphone value chain, including our IP portfolio, and world-class talent and system integration capabilities, have supported Google in bolstering the Android market,” she said in a statement.

Wang said the agreement will enable Google to “supercharge” their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within HTC’s product lines, such as Vive, their virtual reality device. Similar sentiments were made by Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice-president of hardware.

“Creating beautiful products that people rely on every single day is a journey, and we are investing for the long run,” said Osterloh in a Google blog post. “That’s why we’ve signed an agreement with HTC, a leader in consumer electronics, that will fuel even more product innovation in the years ahead.”

As part of the deal, Google will receive a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.

The all-cash deal is expected to close early next year.