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Google to buy part of HTC for $ 1.1 billion

Taiwanese phone maker HTC, in difficulties, announced Thursday that it will sell part of its business to Google, which wants to develop its activity in connected devices for $ 1.1 billion. Google will remain half of HTC’s research and development unit, made up of about 2,000 people who have already worked with the US company to develop their mobile phone Pixel.

The agreement will be closed early next year, HTC said. “For Google, this deal further strengthens its mobile phone business and investment in its emerging device business,” HTC spokesman Peter Shen told a news conference in Taipei.

“In addition to the team of experienced and talented professionals, Google will continue to have access to HTC’s intellectual property to support the Pixel family of phones,” he added. The spokesman explained that HTC will continue to sell phones with its own brand.

The Taiwanese company is working on a new model while continuing to invest in activities such as virtual realityartificial intelligence and the internet of objects, said Shen. For its part, Google explained in a joint statement with HTC that the agreement “is the testimony of a strategic relationship between HTC and Google for a decade to develop high-end phones.”

The purchase will give the US giant more control over its mobile phones, an activity it wants to develop to compete in a global market dominated by Apple and Samsung. This is not the first time Google invests in the device industry. In 2012 it bought Motorola maker Motorola for 12.5 billion dollars, but two years later sold it for less than 3,000.

HTC, which became a leader in the telephony market, is experiencing one of its worst moments by competing with Apple and Samsung, but also with Chinese brands such as Huawei. The firm’s revenue fell in August to its lowest level in 13 years (about $ 100 million). In addition it returned to have losses in between April and June of 2017 by ninth consecutive quarter.

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