Alphabet Inc.’s Google is close to acquiring assets from Taiwan’s HTC Corp., according to a person familiar with the situation, in a bid to bolster the internet giant’s nascent hardware business.

By owning a manufacturer outright, Google could gain tighter control over production of its new Pixel smartphone and other devices, helping it ramp up sales. Those gadgets are fast becoming the pillars of Google’s strategic push to keep critical software products, such as its voice-enabled assistant, in circulation, contain costs in its main advertising business and better compete with Apple Inc.

HTC, once ranked among the world’s top smartphone makers, is holding a town hall meeting Thursday, according to tech website VentureBeat, which cited a copy of an internal invitation.

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