Google announced late Wednesday it has reached a deal valued at more than $1 billion to buy part of the smartphone division of Taiwan's HTC.
Google will pay HTC $1.1 billion and receive a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property, while certain HTC employees, "many of whom are already working with Google to develop Pixel smartphones - will join Google," the companies said in a joint news release.
The agreement highlights plans by Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google to push further into the handset market. HTC has been a longtime contract manufacturer for Google, most recently helping it launch its Pixel smartphone, debuted last year.
"The agreement is a testament to the decade-long strategic relationship between HTC and Google around the development of premium smartphones," the companies said.
The deal was expected, and HTC's stock was halted Thursday before the announcement.
"As a pioneer of the smartphone market, we are very proud of our history of innovation. 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," Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO of HTC, said in the statement. "This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership..."
"HTC has been a longtime partner of Google and has created some of the most beautiful, premium devices on the market," said Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of hardware at Google. "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."
The companies said the transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close by early 2018.
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