Google Makes $1.1B Development Deal With HTC To Create Hardware

Google has signed an $1.1 billion agreement with HTC to work with the Taiwanese's company's smartphone operations.

The deal -- announced late Wednesday -- continues Google's "big bet on hardware," Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of hardware at Google, wrote in a blog post. It's a  non-exclusive licensing agreement to some of HTC’s intellectual property.

"Last fall, we introduced our first family of Made by Google products, including Pixel smartphones, Google Home, Google Wifi, Daydream View and Chromecast Ultra, and we’re preparing to unveil our second generation of products on October 4," Osterloh wrote.

As part of the agreement, a team of HTC employees will join Google's hardware team. Many of them have been working with the Mountain View, California company on Pixel, and HTC has been a longtime partner of Google's. The two companies have worked together on the first ever Android smartphone -- the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1 -- and Nexus One, the Nexus 9 tablet, and the first Pixel smartphone.

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Google isn't calling the deal an acquisition or investment, but rather an agreement to work with HTC's employees who design and build 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.

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