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HTC promises more VR innovation following $1.1B Google deal

HTC is letting some of its talent join Google as part of a $1.1 billion "cooperation agreement" in an effort to expand its smartphone and Vive virtual reality businesses.

HTC is letting some of its talent join Google as part of a $1.1 billion "cooperation agreement" in an effort to expand its smartphone and Vive virtual reality businesses.

Many of the HTC employees jumping ship have already worked closely with Google on the company's Pixel smartphone project. 

HTC says the deal will give it a chance to streamline its product portfolio and work towards "greater operational efficiency."

The Taiwanese outfit also claims it will now also have the freedom the build out its virtual reality operations and further invest in next-generation technologies like augmented reality and artificial intelligence. 

"This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and Vive virtual reality businesses," said Cher Wang, HTC chairwoman and CEO.

"We believe HTC is well positioned to maintain our rich legacy of innovation and realize the potential of a new generation of connected products and services."

The deal, which also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property, is expected to close by early 2018.

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