Google has struck an agreement with HTC, but it isn’t a much-rumored deal to buy the handset maker.
Instead, the tech giant is paying the struggling Taiwanese phone maker $1.1 billion in cash to hire certain HTC employees, many of whom are already working with Google on the Pixel line of smartphones. Google will also license HTC intellectual property.
The agreement comes as Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes more ownership of hardware, particularly of phones with its Pixel franchise. The flagship devices, announced a year ago, are considered the first Google-branded phones.
Google was widely rumored to closing a deal to acquire HTC. But, it was only five years ago Google bought Motorola Mobility…