Google buys HTC team for $1.1b

The US search giant is tightening control of the smartphone hardware that carries its Android software. Tension with distributers Samsung and Huawei may build.

Google said it has bought the team of developers that helped build its Pixel smartphone from the struggling Taiwanese device maker, HTC, for $1.1 billion in cash.

The US search engine, a unit of Alphabet Inc., is paying up to inject the hardware expertise into its own smart phones. About 2,000 research and development engineers, or half of HTC's RD department, will transfer across to Google.

Google wants more control over the apps preinstalled on mobile phones that run its Android software, the most used operating system for smartphones globally.

More control for Google may alienate Huawei and Samsung, which...

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