HTC suspends trading, Google acquisition rumors blaze to life

The suspension of activity on the stock exchange is being keenly watched in anticipation of a takeover.


HTC has suspended trading on the stock exchange amidst rumors of a takeover by Google.

A statement issued by the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) was scant on details but did say that the trading of HTC shares and securities will be halted from Thursday, with no mention of when the exchange will resume normal trading.

TWSE said the closure of share sales and purchases has been made "pending the release of material information," and "the company will apply for resumption of trading after."

HTC has been even briefer, and in a bullet-point statement of sorts, said that "HTC does not comment on market rumor or speculation."

The Taiwanese phone maker is referring to an earlier report, originally from the China Times, which suggested that the company may be acquired in the near future by Google's parent company, Alphabet.

Now that HTC has ceased trading on the stock exchange, these rumors are once again on fire.

The Chinese publication suggested that buyout talks have entered their final stages, but it was not HTC's virtual reality unit Vive that was at the heart of discussions, but rather the smartphone business.

In what the China Times calls a "strategic investment," such a deal could resolve HTC's financial issues, of which the firm has been running at a loss for the past year, reporting a $72.4 million loss in Q2 2017 alone.

See also: Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2: Everything you need to know

HTC said in August that the company "remained optimistic," but despite the success of the flagship HTC U11 smartphone, the firm's marketshare in the smartphone arena has plummeted.

It is estimated that HTC held a marketshare of roughly nine percent five years ago, but now holds less than one percent in the face of competitors including Samsung and Apple.

HTC and Google already work closely together, having collaborated on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones last year. Rumors have suggested that a Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 were also on the horizon.

If the Google takeover rumors are true, then HTC's manufacturing capabilities will potentially be switched over and become Google's own, rather than a collaborative effort.

HTC shares rose by 2.51 percent to 69.30 Taiwanese dollars on market close. Now all that remains is to see what tomorrow brings.

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