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ALPHABET IN HARDWARE PUSH

Rick Osterloh and Cher Wang

Google and HTC sign $1.1bn cooperation agreement

MOUNTAIN VIEW/TAIPEI, September 21, 2017

Alphabet subsidiary Google and smartphone maker HTC  have signed a $1.1 billion cooperation agreement under which Google will acquire a team of HTC employees, as well as some non-exclusive licenses to some of the Taiwanese company's intellectual property.

The agreement is a testament to the decade-long strategic relationship between HTC and Google around the development of premium smartphones, HTC said in a statement.

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.

“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,” said Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO of HTC.

“This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses. 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 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 transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, is expected to close by early 2018.

Evercore served as financial advisor to HTC and Gibson Dunn and Tsar & Tsai acted as legal counsel. Lazard served as financial advisor to Google and Cleary Gottlieb and Lee & Li acted as legal counsel. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Google | HTC | Hardware | Pixel smartphone |

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