Uber, Waymo reach self-driving auto settlement

10 February, 2018, 04:39 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • JOSH EDELSON  AFP  Getty Images

The Waymo lawsuit was the most pressing legal battle for Uber but only one item in a long list of controversies that have dogged the company for the previous year. That's a win for Uber, considering the $1 billon settlement Waymo sought past year.

Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler accused Uber in a blog post of being a toxic place for women to work, a post that was bracketed by reports of a range of questionable business tactics under Kalanick, including spying on rivals, intentionally fooling regulators, lying to business partners, sharing a customer's private medical history, and later, hiding massive data breaches. The figure is significantly less than what Waymo was originally seeking as the publication says the company wanted at least $1 billion a year ago.

Representatives for both companies confirmed news of the settlement. And just like that, a yearlong legal battle was brought to a close just before Levandowski was expected to testify, which, insiders say, would have represented a point of no return. According to internal Waymo documents shown in court, Google and Waymo executives became concerned when Levandowski and more than a dozen other engineers left Waymo for Uber, afraid they would use their technical know-how to help Uber beat it to the finish line.

So why did Google settle so quickly?

Waymo lawyers convinced Alsup to allow them to play the clip, implying that Kalanick, like Douglas' character, Gordon Gekko, was willing to do anything in the pursuit of riches.

Waymo had agreed earlier this week to a settlement proposal valued at $500 million, but Uber's board rejected those terms on Tuesday, two sources familiar with the negotiations said. Google is still an investor in Uber, one source noted, and it was to Google's benefit to preserve-and subsequently cash in on-Uber's I.P.O.


"Had the trial proceeded to its conclusion, it is clear Uber would have prevailed", Kalanick said.

Uber countered that Waymo had sued to put it out of business, as the two vied to be the first to launch self-driving cars for the ride-hail market.

To our employees, in particular the great and talented people of Uber's Advanced Technologies Group: I am inspired by your passion and commitment to bringing self-driving vehicles to life. Waymo released a public statement soon after. "Of course, we are also competitors".

Khosrowshahi expressed "regret" for the company's actions in a statement on Friday.

Khosrowshahi's statement added that Uber does not believe that his company acquired trade secrets from Waymo or used any proprietary information in its self-driving technology. As part of the settlement, Waymo will get a 0.34pc stake in Uber, worth $245m (£177m) at its latest valuation. I've told Alphabet that the incredible people at Uber ATG are focused on ensuring that our development represents the very best of Uber's innovation and experience in self-driving technology.

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