Alphabet’s Waymo Said To Demand At Least $1 Billion From Uber

The legal battle between Uber and Waymo looks destined for a courtroom battle in December, based on today’s report that the ride-hailing firm has rejected the self-driving tech firm’s settlement offer. Waymo reportedly demanded more than $1 billion and a public apology from Uber Technologies.

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Given the many problems facing the ride-haling firm, it’s hard to imagine that it’s got $1 billion in cash just sitting around. Still, it could be a discount from the $1.86 billion Waymo has said they intend to seek if the case goes to trial.

Citing people familiar with the discussions, Reuters reported early this morning that Alphabet’s self-driving tech arm offered to settle the case involving alleged theft of trade secrets. In addition to the hefty lump sum and public apology, Waymo also reportedly demanded the appointment of an independent monitor to ensure that Uber never uses the technology it is accused of stealing.

Reuters’ sources said that Uber rejected all the settlement terms “as non-starters.” The exact dollar amount Waymo reportedly asked for was not given; the sources only said that it was more than $1 billion.

We’ve heard before that Alphabet’s self-driving unit seems to have a very strong case against Uber, so its tough stance in negotiations seems to be valid. According to the media outlet, Waymo is being tough because it has strong “confidence in its legal position after months of pretrial victories.” Further, the extreme settlement terms seem to suggest that the company isn’t in any rush to close the case. An expert on trade secrets told the media outlet that the lawsuit is valuable because it distracts Uber management.

Alphabet’s self-driving division talked a federal judge into delaying the trial from this month to December. The company claimed it needs more time to examine evidence Uber hadn’t disclosed previously. Reuters’ sources also said that the two companies haven’t scheduled anymore settlement negotiations, although the judge in the case ordered them to go into mediation.

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