Uber Settles With Waymo/Google For $245 Million In Stock

11 February, 2018, 05:18 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Uber Settles With Waymo/Google For $245 Million In Stock

The settlement includes an agreement "to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber hardware and software".

Witnesses like Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Levandowski were expected to appear at some point this week at the federal court session in San Francisco, but the this settlement has put an end to that.

A second source says that before the current settlement was reached, there was another offer with a higher equity value given to Waymo (around $500 million) and that had fewer constraints on Uber about the use of Waymo technology, but that Uber's board rejected that offer at a meeting Tuesday night.

"We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology", a Waymo spokesperson said. "We have always believed competition should be fueled by innovation in the labs and on the roads and we look forward to bringing fully self-driving cars to the world".

Uber and Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet / Google that specializes in autonomous vehicle technologies, reached an amicable agreement ending accusations of theft of patents made by the latter against the former. Uber rebutted that its self-driving sensor designs were unique and that Levandowski's actions were unrelated to his work at Uber.

Kalanick, a polarizing figure who resigned as Uber's CEO last June, had already spent part of two days on the stand reviewing old texts between him and Levandowski indicating that they were willing to go to any lengths to catch up with a self-driving auto project that Google started in 2009. Levandowski, who isn't a defendant in the lawsuit, refused to answer questions from Waymo and turn over documents, citing his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

Behind the scenes, company officials admit, negotiations were taking place.

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Uber is paying $245 million to Google's self-driving auto spinoff to end a legal brawl that aired out allegations of a sinister scheme that tore apart the once-friendly companies.

The lawsuit that Waymo/Google/Alphabet filed against Uber previous year - alleging the theft of trade secrets relating to the company's LiDAR tech for use in self-driving vehicles - has now ended, following a settlement. Uber bought Levandowski's start-up, Otto, for $680 million in 2016. Uber fired its self-driving chief after Waymo sued, and it is well behind on its plans to deploy fleets of autonomous cars in one of the most lucrative races in Silicon Valley.

Uber's chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, said that the company does not believe it received any trade secrets from Waymo, and that it is taking steps to ensure that its research is unique to work carried out internally.

"Waymo had already achieved most of what it needed, and Uber, with a fundamental change in management, no longer had the emotional investment that would justify carrying on the fight", said Jim Pooley, a trade-secrets expert who has followed the case.

Waymo is deploying its own self-driving rideshare program at the same time and has ordered "thousands" of vehicles from Fiat Chrysler for its service.

"No trade secrets ever came to Uber", Kalanick in the statement.

The terms of the compromise, which comes less than a week after the start of the trial, which saw Travis Kalanick, the founder and former boss of Uber, testify at the bar, were not disclosed.

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