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

11 February 2018

The case hinged on Waymo's ability to show not only that Levandowski had taken Google's private source code, but that Uber had used it improperly to catch up with rivals.

But according to a source close to the case, Uber has proposed the equivalent of $ 244.8 million to Waymo in shares, or 0.34% of the total valuation of the company at $72 billion.

The settlement includes an agreement "to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber hardware and software".

The deal was announced in a San Francisco federal court before testimony began, shocking many in the audience and leading to a rapid succession of prepared statements from each side.

The settlement comes with Uber seeking to turn the page following a series of scandals over alleged misconduct and a cut-throat workplace culture, as new chief executive Khosrowshahi strives to prepare for a stock market debut in 2019.

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In 2015, at the start of the civil case, Waymo accused Uber of using trade secrets stolen by one of its former engineers.

Waymo had previously estimated damages in the case at about $1.9 billion USA, which Uber rejected. "We are committed to working with Uber to ensure that each company develops its own technologies, which means that no proprietary information belonging to Waymo should be included in Uber's software", she added. "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". It was born out of the Advanced Technologies Group based in Uber's Pittsburgh engineering office. "Through that lens, the acquisition of Otto made good business sense". That engineer, Anthony Levandowski, subsequently went to work for Uber, and was later fired when he declined to answer questions about the theft charges, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Behind the scenes, company officials admit, negotiations were taking place.

Both Uber and Waymo have issued statements on Friday confirming the settlement, which has concluded an ongoing trial between the two companies and years of contest.

Waymo filed a lawsuit almost a year ago accusing Uber of conspiring with Levandowski to create a fake company that would be purchased by Uber and used to steal eight trade secrets from Google's self-driving auto team. He founded his own startup, Otto, which Uber bought a few months later for $680 million. Uber denied using any Google technology to build a fleet of self-driving cars.

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"My job as Uber's CEO is to set the course for the future of the company: innovating and growing responsibly, as well as acknowledging and correcting mistakes of the past", Khosrowshahi said in the statement.

"While I cannot erase the past, I can commit, on behalf of every Uber employee, that we will learn from it, and it will inform our actions going forward", Khosrowshahi said.

The legal battle that threatened to upend Uber's self-driving vehicle program is coming to an end.

In a statement Friday, Kalanick said Uber would have won had the trial continued.

"Knowing everything we know, Uber regrets ever bringing Anthony Levandowski on board", Uber lawyer William Carmody told the jury in his opening statement.

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