Google could be closer to announcing its acquisition of HTC as the Taiwanese company has suspended trading of shares ahead of a “major announcement” slated for Thursday, reported Taiwanese site TechNews. A tweet from Bloomberg columnist Tim Culpan too indicated that HTC will halt trading “pending a major announcement”. At the same time, popular tipster Evan Blass tweeted about an HTC townhall meeting slated for Thursday with a Google takeover being a possible point of discussion.
Google has been rumoured to acquire struggling smartphone maker HTC for a while now. Bloomberg last month reported that HTC was looking to sell its loss making smartphone division due to falling sales. A previous report from a local Taiwanese publication claimed the deal will only be limited to HTC’s research and development (R&D) arm, and not the division working on the company’s high-end Vive VR headset.
For Google, it will be a win-win situation to acquire HTC. The Taiwanese company has expertise in making high-end premium smartphones, including the Google Pixel. For years Apple has been dominating the smartphone space with its iconic iPhone. Now Google wants to directly compete with Apple in the top-end smartphone segment. The company last year launched the Pixel and Pixel XL – the company’s first smartphones designed in-house. So clearly Google has an interest in both hardware and software side of the smartphone.
Both Google and HTC also share a long term working relationship, so the comfort level is surely there. Next month, Google is planning to launch the second-generation of Pixel smartphones. Once again, the buzz is that one of the phones will be made by HTC.
It remains to be seen if the deal actually happens. This would not be the first time Google is interested in acquiring a hardware company specialised in making smartphones. Google previously tried to manufacture its own smartphones when it bought Motorola in 2011, but without success. The company later sold smartphone maker Motorola to Lenovo.
Check out some tweets on the subject here
 Someone sent me a copy of an internal invitation to an HTC employee Town Hall meeting tmrw (9/21). One alleged topic: Google acquisition
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 20, 2017
HTC just announced it’s shares will halt trading tomorrow (Thur) pending a major announcement.
— Tim Culpan (@tculpan) September 20, 2017
Reports also indicate that HTC will likely stick with the Vive VR headset brand for now. The mobile division is what Google could acquire along with engineering assets from HTC. For HTC the deal could end up being a big win, given that it has been struggling in the smartphone business for sometime. However, for Google it remains to be seen whether this acquisition in smartphone hardware, if it actually takes place, proves to be more successful.