Waymo and Uber burry hatchet for 245 million dollar
Alphabet’s autonomous driving daughter Waymo and ride-hailing service Uber have burried the hatchet and agreed for a settlement of 245 million dollar in the trial about ‘stealing’ company secrets.
A year ago Waymo accused Uber to have used some 14.000 documents or 10 gigabyte of data downloaded by former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski, when the latter was hired by Uber for its own autonomous driving branch.
Head of self-driving division
Levandowski had left Waymo to start his own company Otto, focusing on self-driving trucks. A few months later Uber bought Otto and Levandowski with it, making him the head of its self-driving division.
When the ‘scandal’ broke and Levandowski refused to cooperate with justice in the investigation, Uber’s co-founder and CEO at that time, Travis Kalanick, decided to get rid of Levandowski, but couldn’t prevent Waymo going to trial, asking for billions of damages.
Share of 0,34%
After one week on trial both parties now decided to settle for 245 million dollar. Uber won’t pay in cash, but will give Waymo a share of 0,34%. Peanuts compared to the initial damage claims. Analysts say this is a victory for Uber CEO Dara Khosrowhahi, who succeeded Kalanick when the latter was pushed aside by his own investors.
Since then Khoroswhahi gave much effort in showing that Uber had done everything possible to leave the series of scandals under Kalanick behind it. He would rather like to avoid more dirty details surfacing with a trial like this.
First real money
For Waymo, it’s peanuts too. But according to the New York Times “this 245 million is the first real money Waymo earns in its history”. So far the company has only spent money in developing the self-driving technology, but it has no product or taxi service of its own yet to sell and earn money with.
Probably the Waymo lawyers decided it would be difficult to prove Uber actually used the documents and choose the best of a bad bargain.