HTC announced earlier today that it will halt stock trading tomorrow as a major announcement will be made. There have been rumors about an acquisition of the company by Google though nothing has been officially confirmed as yet. A new report published today claims that Google is “close” to acquiring HTC assets.
Citing people familiar with the situation, Bloomberg reports that Google is close to acquiring HTC’s assets as it wants to bolster its hardware business.
Google’s critics may not like this given that this isn’t the first time the company has tried to buy its way into the hardware market. It spent $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility in 2012. In less than three years, Motorola lost ground as an Android handset manufacturer and Google unloaded it to Lenovo for $3 billion.
Reports suggest that Google is going to buy HTC’s handset original design operations for around $330 million. It’s reportedly going to retain the HTC brand and about 100 HTC engineers will be retained.
There’s no clarity about the future of HTC’s Vive virtual reality division so far. The company’s handset division might be struggling but its VR division shows the most promise for future growth. There have been rumors that HTC is open to selling off the VR division as well.
With its Pixel handsets last year, Google made it clear that it has every intention of competing with the big players in the hardware space. Having its own hardware production unit will give Google more control over the distribution of its hardware products and associated software services.
It seems like a good idea, at least in theory, but has Google learned valuable lessons from the Motorola episode? Time will tell.
Google declined to comment on Bloomberg’s story.