HTC plans to halt trading of its stock tomorrow to make a “material announcement,” the Taiwan Stock Exchange announced this morning, adding new fuel to the speculation that the smartphone and virtual reality device maker is poised to be acquired by Google.
The Taiwanese consumer electronics company, which has its North American headquarters in Seattle, declined to comment on reports that a sale to Google could be imminent. It’s not clear if Google is the only suitor or if other companies could also be in the running.
HTC factory utilization has dropped, leaving empty capacity
Google now designs its own phones soup to nuts (Not just OEM)
Put 2+2 together
— Tim Culpan (@tculpan) September 20, 2017
HTC was an early pioneer in smartphones, working with Microsoft on Windows Mobile and later focusing on Android devices.
More recently, the company has expanded into virtual reality hardware with the HTC Vive headset, in partnership with Bellevue-based Valve, but HTC has struggled to keep pace with Samsung and others in the global smartphone market.
Its not clear if the acquisition would be made by Google or its parent company, Alphabet. This wouldn’t be the first time Google has acquired a smartphone maker. The company acquired Motorola Mobility in 2011 before selling the business off to Lenovo in 2014.
[Correction: Reference to HTC’s location corrected since original post.]