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A Google Droid phone by HTC in 2010. Eric Risberg / AP

Google announced late Wednesday a $1.1 billion agreement under which certain employees of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC will join Google. It's the second time the search giant has made a major investment in a mobile technology company to beef up its hardware business.

The details:

  • Certain HTC employees, many of whom have been working with Google on its Pixel smartphone line, will be joining Google, the company said.
  • The deal also includes an non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.
  • Google says the deal represents significant investment in Taiwan as a key tech hub.
  • HTC will continue to make its own brand of smartphones and build the virtual reality VIVE business.

Google and HTC have worked together before, such as the first Android smartphone, the Nexus 9 tablet and the first PIxel smartphone last year.

Future: Google's SVP of Hardware Rick Osterloh said in a company blog post that "it's still early days for Google's hardware business" and it's focused on building its "core capabilities." The company's goal is to pair software like Google Assistant with a new line of devices.

Flashback: Five years ago, Google spent 12 times the price to buy Motorola for $12.5 billion. A couple years later, it dumped the company for just under $3 billion, while retaining Motorola's more than 17,000 patents to defend its Android products. Google said at the time that the patents made the deal worthwhile, despite what appeared to be a cultural mismatch and Google's ambivalence (at that point) about being in the phone making business.

The big question: How will Google make this deal pay off more than Motorola did?

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The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Far-right figure "Baked Alaska" arrested for involvement in Capitol siege

Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI arrested far-right media figure Tim Gionet, known as "Baked Alaska," on Saturday for his involvement in last week's Capitol riot, according to a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

The state of play: Gionet was arrested in Houston on charges related to disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session, per AP.