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Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

HTC is reportedly in advanced talks to sell its smartphone business to Google, according to a report in a Taiwanese outlet spotted by Business Insider. Financial details aren't available, but the deal would reportedly only involve HTC's smartphone R&D team. HTC has previously been rumored to be considering selling part or all of its business, which include the smartphone operations as well as its Vive virtual reality unity.

Google declined to comment.

Deja Vu: Google bought Motorola several years back and drastically pared it down before selling it to Lenovo a couple years later.

Irony: Rick Osterloh, who ran Motorola at Google, now runs Google's hardware unit, which presumably would be the one that would inherit the HTC team.

Strategic value questionable: Motorola arguably had far greater assets, strong brand and patent portfolio, in addition to a larger hardware business. It's not clear what HTC would bring, aside from some additional hardware expertise to Google's Pixel team.

Go deeper

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1pm the day after the article is transmitted.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Private equity bets on delayed tax reform in Biden administration

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In normal times, private equity would be nervous about Democratic Party control of both the White House and Congress. But in pandemic-consumed 2021, the industry seems sanguine.

Driving the news: Industry executives and lobbyists paid very close attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearings this week, and came away convinced that tax reform isn't on the near-term agenda.