Shocking Settlement: Uber and Waymo Make a $245 Million Deal

Anthony Levandowski

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.

The surprise agreement ends a trial between the two Silicon Valley rivals competing in a race to develop autonomous cars, after four days of testimony before a federal judge in San Francisco.

In the end, Uber's settlement with Waymo doesn't require it to pay out a particularly large sum of money or change its self-driving vehicle plans, but the yearlong litigation still brought to light many unflattering details about the and its former CEO, .

The lawsuit cost Uber precious time in its self-driving auto ambition, which is a key to its long-term profitability.

After spending almost a week in the courtroom, Waymo and Uber came to an agreement on Friday, Feb. 9, in which the latter will pay the Google/Alphabet division a significant sum of money (in our view - perhaps not in Google's).

As reported by BBC, Uber is now handing over 0.34% of its share which is worth around $245m (£177m) to Waymo. The settlement also includes an agreement "to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software", a Waymo representative said.

Waymo had previously estimated damages in the case at about $1.9 billion United States, which Uber rejected.

A source familiar with the matter tells CNBC that Uber approached Waymo with a settlement offer within a week before the trial started. Because Waymo now owns a stake in Uber, the two companies are, ironically, brought closer after their yearlong legal battle.

The deal also includes a guarantee that Uber will not incorporate confidential Waymo self-driving auto technology into Uber's hardware and software, a Waymo spokesperson said.

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi released a statement saying he wanted to "express regret" and commit Uber to taking steps to ensure that its self-driving technology "represents just our good work".

Uber has settled a lawsuit alleging that it ripped off self-driving auto technology from Google's autonomous vehicle division.

Lidar is a light-based sensor crucial to autonomous driving.

"We hired Anthony because we felt that he was incredibly visionary, a very good technologist, and he was also very charming", Kalanick said, noting that the goal was to "make driverless cars a reality".

"Their risks would have gone up on many levels", Ms. Rowe said. Mr. Levandowski has never publicly addressed the allegations of taking the documents and law enforcement has not charged anyone with their theft.

Going to trial, Waymo seemed to have had the advantage since a United States judge last May ordered Anthony Levandowski, the former Waymo employee at the center of the case, to return to his former employer the confidential files that he would have taken away when leaving the company.

Levandowski was accused of downloading thousands of internal Google files related to self-driving vehicle technology before he left the company. The actual value of those illiquid shares will depend on how Uber is valued when it goes public - something the company has said it aims to do in late 2019.

Kalanick stepped down as Uber's chief executive in June as the company grappled with the fallout from several scandals. Although it has acquired the necessary California permit, it still does not have self-driving cars transporting passengers there.

The chauffeur-driven vehicle reservation service also expressed its "regrets" and pledged to use only its own technologies in the development of its autonomous auto, seen as the grail of public transport of the future and likely to generate Billions of dollars in revenue.


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