For months, Waymo and Uber have been in a heated legal battle over whether or not former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski brought trade secrets to Uber. Given that the two companies have been duking it out in court over the last few days, many thought that only a jury could bring about a resolution.
It turns out that’s not the case, as the two companies announced a settlement today. The deal requires that Uber not incorporate Waymo’s confidential IP into its products. In addition, Uber will pay Google a settlement, which includes 0.34% of Uber equity, at the Series G-1 valuation of approximately $72 billion.
In a blog post published today, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote:
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.
That’s quite an admission. But he does add later on:
To be clear, while we 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, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work.
Google also provided Fast Company with this statement:
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.