Google said to be eyeing purchase of 'Pixel 2' manufacturer HTC's smartphone division to combat 'iPhone 8'

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Reports are emerging from China that a deal that would result in Google taking a controlling interest in — or buying out completely — HTC's struggling smartphone business.

The Chinese-language Commerical Times was first to note the negotiations. The deal does not appear to be for the entirety of HTC. HTC's Vive division is a discrete entity, insulated from the smartphone division.

Earlier on Thursday, HTC posted its lowest revenue in over a decade. The company reported $99.7 million in earnings, a 51.5 percent drop as compared to July, and a decrease of 54.3 percent when compared to the year-ago month.

HTC's earnings for June and July were buoyed by the release of the U11 flagship phone — but the financial effect of the release appears to have only lasted for two months.

The deal seems remarkably similar on the surface to Google's $12.5 billion buy of Motorola that finalized in 2012, before it sold off the patent-stripped carcass to Lenovo for $2.91 billion in 2014.

Google and HTC are not strangers to each other. Google's rumored "Pixel 2" line of phones that will go head-to-head with Apple's fall releases are reportedly under construction by HTC now, and the Pixel and Pixel XL devices were manufactured by the company as well.

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