GOOGLE BETS BIG WITH HTC BUY
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.