Google completes $1.1 billion deal to acquire portion of HTC

Google logo
A neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto, Canada. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

After months of working on an agreement, Google has announced that its humongous $1.1 billion deal to acquire a large chunk of hardware manufacturer HTC has been completed.

The acquisition, which was announced back in September, has gotten all the required approvals and has been finalized. With this deal, Google is adding over 2,000 engineers, which is about one-fifth of HTC’s engineering team, to its workforce. The hardware team included engineers who previously worked on Google’s Pixel flagship smartphones, which was outsourced to HTC.

Google’s newly acquired team will remain in Taiwan, where HTC is based. This gives them a larger footprint in the Asia Pacific with its largest engineering site in the region, and it is likely the many of the company’s future products will be coming from there.

In a blog post, Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior VP of hardware, welcomed the newest members of the company. “I’m delighted that we’ve officially closed our deal with HTC, and are welcoming an incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come,” said Osterloh

Osterloh said that their new colleagues from HTC bring to the company decades of experience in hardware manufacturing, noting that HTC achieved many firsts in the smartphone industry, like the first 3G smartphone in 2005, the first touch-centric phone in 2007, and the first all-metal unibody phone in 2013.

Aside from the added manpower and hardware expertise, the Pixel company is also getting a non-exclusive license for the intellectual properties that HTC currently owns.

The acquisition of the HTC team is part of Google’s recent expansion in Asia. The company will also be opening an Artificial Intelligence (AI) lab in Beijing and a company base in Shenzhen. Google is also investing in various Asian companies, like the Chinese streaming service Chushou, the biotech firm XtalPi, and Indonesian ride-hailing service Go-Jek.