Business

Uber Pays Waymo $245 Million to Reach Settlement On Trade Secrets

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| February 10 , 2018 , 18:43 IST

Uber has agreed to settle the lawsuit brought against it by Waymo for theft of some of the company's trade secrets. The payout is a 0.34 percent value stake in Uber to Waymo which adds up to around $245 million, as reported by CNBC.

Waymo—formerly the Google self-driving car project—stands for a new way forward in mobility.

Waymo had moved to court alleging that Uber stole trade privileged insights (somewhere in the range of 14,000 records, allegedly) after engineer Anthony Levandowski left Waymo to establish Otto, the self-driving truck company that was then acquired by Uber in 2016 for $680 million.

Levandowski was last on the witness list today when Lidar and lasers were to be talked about, making the settlement declaration's planning all the more suspect. In an announcement, Uber's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi apologized, saying that his company's acquisition (under previous leadership) "should have been handled differently."

"There is no question that self-driving technology is crucial to the future of transportation -- a future in which Uber intends to play an important role," he writes. "Through that lens, the acquisition of Otto made good business sense. But the prospect that a couple of Waymo employees may have inappropriately solicited other to join Otto, and that they may have potentially left with Google files in their possession, in retrospect raised some hard questions."

Khosrowshahi didn't concede blame, nonetheless, saying he doesn't believe any trade secret made their way from one organization to another. "We are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work."

Waymo says that it will work with Uber to ensure its information isn't being utilized with Uber's Advanced Technologies Group. "We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology," a 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."