Uber Technologies Inc. has settled its legality battle over Alphabet’s Waymo’s self-driving technology. Uber will pay Waymo a 0.34 percent equity stake totaling to $245 million at Uber’s recent $72 billion valuation, the two companies had confirmed.
The legality issues began on allegations of Uber stealing Waymo’s information about its self-driving technology, although Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi says in a statement: “we [Uber] do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber, nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo’s proprietary information in its self-driving technology.”
The case revolved around Uber’s purchase of Otto, which was founded by Anthony Levandowski, a former engineer at Google. Waymo accused Levandowski of stealing data files from Google when he left for Otto and Uber had used the data for its self-driving vehicle technology.
Khosrowshahi released a statement after the settlement: “To our friends at Alphabet: we are partners, you are an important investor in Uber, and we share a deep belief in the power of technology to change people’s lives for the better. Of course, we are also competitors. And while we won’t agree on everything going forward, we agree that Uber’s acquisition of Otto could and should have been handled differently.”
Alphabet released a statement saying: "We have reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo's intellectual property now and into the future. We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology. This includes an agreement to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software. 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."
Former Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick also provided a statement saying “no trade secrets ever came to Uber. Our sole objective was to hire the most talented scientists and engineers to help lead the company and our cities to a driverless future.”