HTC, the maker of Google’s successful Pixel smartphones, has been under intensifying financial pressure for a number of years.  The Taiwanese company has been falling behind Samsung and other handset makers for Android market share.

In August, HTC began exploring the idea of a sale of some or all of their business, according to Bloomberg.  DigiTimes has reported that Google may decide to invest in HTC or buy its handset business outright:

HTC reportedly has entered the final stage of negotiation with Google for selling its smartphone business unit to the Internet service operator, according [to] a Chinese-language Commercial Times report.

Google is currently considering options of either becoming a strategic partner or buying out HTC’s smartphone business, said the report, which added that the possible deal will not involve HTC’s Vive VR business or the entire company.

This is similar to the time Google had previously owned and then sold the Motorola handset business.  In the end of that first deal, Google felt that they could better accomplish this by owning a handset maker.

Google later decided that it was necessary, or the business had been far too removed from Google’s core operations, selling it for about $3 billion to Lenovo in 2014.

This is why it’s strange that the company is thinking of buying HTC’s phone business.

Buying the phone business would signal Google’s lack of confidence in HTC management and a statement that an investment could be wasted.  It could even put Google baack in a possible problematic spot with investors and other Android OEMs.

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