Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC is halting trading in its shares amid mounting speculation it is set to be taken over by Google’s parent group Alphabet.
The technology firm told the Taiwan Stock Exchange, which is now closed, that it was suspending shares pending the release of “material information” – fuelling rumours of a Google buyout.
It came shortly after HTC had announced it would not comment on market speculation over Alphabet’s reported acquisition plans.
HTC has suffered falling smartphone sales in recent years as it has struggled to compete with Apple and Samsung.
It used to have a 9% share of the smartphone market five years ago, but this has now dwindled to less than 1%.
The group unveiled its newest smartphone in May, the U11, which can be squeezed in order to take selfies and launch other apps.
Alphabet-owned Google launched its first own-brand smartphone – the Pixel – earlier this year, which is made at HTC’s factories.
Google is also behind the Android operating system used by brands such as HTC and Samsung.