Google Buys HTC Pixel Team

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Google and HTC announce a $1.1 billion "cooperation agreement"-- one where the search giant buys "certain HTC employees," many of whom with experience working on the Pixel smartphone line.

HTC phonesThe search giant also gets a non-exclusive license for a good chunk HTC IP in order to support the Pixel smartphone family.

“Our unmatched smartphone value chain, including our IP portfolio, and world-class talent and system integration capabilities, have supported Google in bolstering the Android market,” HTC CEO Cher Wang says. “This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses."

The HTC employees-- part of the HTC R&D division-- moving to Google total around 2000. Google gives no word as to where the employees will be located, but both it and HTC hope to bring them as little disruption as possible. As for the rest of the division, HTC says they will continue working on the company's smartphones, as well as VR technology.

HTC was the company behind the first Pixel smartphone, as well as the 2010 Nexus One and the the Nexus 9 tablet. However HTC's relationship with Google runs deeper, since back in 2008 it made the very first commercially released Android smartphone, the HTC Dream (aka the T-Mobile G1 in some parts of Europe).

Will Google stick with the HTC team, though? After all, in 2011 it bought the Motorola mobile division for $12.5bn... Before selling it off to Lenovo 3 years later for all of $3bn.

Go Google and HTC Announces $1.1bn Cooperation Agreement