Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - MONEY & MARKETS EXTRA -

Google is bit­ing off a big piece of de­vice man­u­fac­turer HTC for $1.1 bil­lion to expand its ef­forts to build phones, speak­ers and other gad­gets equipped with its arse­nal of digital ser­vices.

It's buy­ing the HTC en­gi­neer­ing team that built the Pixel smart­phone for Google in a cash deal, the com­pa­nies said in a joint state­ment. Google is also get­ting a non-exclusive li­cense for Tai­wan-based HTC's in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty to help sup­port Pixel phones.

The deal un­der­scores how se­ri­ous Google is be­com­ing about de­sign­ing its own fam­ily of de­vices to com­pete against Ap­ple and Ama­zon in a high-stakes bat­tle to be­come the tech­no­log­i­cal hub of peo­ple's lives.

Over the past decade, Google had fo­cused on giv­ing away its An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tem to an ar­ray of de­vice mak­ers, in­clud­ing HTC, to en­sure peo­ple would keep us­ing its ubiq­ui­tous search en­gine, email, maps, YouTube video ser­vice and other soft­ware on smart­phones and other pieces of hard­ware.

But that changed last year when Google stamped its brand on a smart­phone and in­ter­net-con­nected speaker. HTC man­u­fac­tured the Pixel phones that Google de­signed last year, paving the way for this deal to un­fold.

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