Google Completes Acquisition of HTC Engineers Who Helped Build the Google Pixel 2
Just because two companies announce an acquisition doesn’t always mean the deal’s closing right there and then. Typically, it just means that both sides have agreed to terms — there’s usually paperwork to file and regulatory hurdles to overcome. That was certainly the case with Google’s acquisition of smartphone employees and intellectual property from HTC, and on Tuesday, months after the announcement, the employees officially joined Google’s hardware division.
“[We’ve] officially closed our deal with HTC […] and are welcoming an incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come,” Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Google’s hardware division, wrote in a blog post. “These new colleagues bring decades of experience achieving a series of ‘firsts’, particularly in the smartphone industry—including bringing to market the first 3G smartphone in 2005, the first touch-centric phone in 2007, and the first all-metal unibody phone in 2013. This is also the same team we’ve been working closely with on the development of the Pixel and Pixel 2.”
In exchange for $1.1 billion, Google’s getting 2,000 engineers from HTC’s smartphone division, which represents half of its research and development group.
HTC has lost a lot of money — in recent years, it’s posted quarterly declines of around $75 million. It got to the point where we suggested it would be a good idea for Google to acquire HTC so the search giant could fill out its new hardware division, and that more or less happened. Google bought a part of HTC and not the whole company, but the engineers headed to the company’s Mountain View campus are a substantial portion (20 percent) of HTC’s workforce.
The influx of talent puts Google in an excellent position going forward. It recently launched the second generation of “Made by Google” products, which include the Google Home Mini, Google Home Max, Google Clips, and others. Now, on the cusp of its hardware division’s third year, HTC’s engineers are poised to help create and refine the company’s upcoming portfolio.
The deal also enables Google to expand its footprint in the Asia Pacific region, according to Mr. Osterloh. “Taiwan is a key innovation and engineering hub for Google,” he wrote, “and Taipei will now become the largest Google engineering site in APAC.”