Uber and Waymo reach reported $245 million USD settlement [Update]

Uber’s CEO issued a public apology for the trade secrets fiasco, maintaining that Uber didn’t steal secrets from Waymo

Uber logo on wall

The sordid tale of Uber and Waymo has seemingly come to an abrupt end.

In a surprising move only four days after the two companies went to court over a trade secrets case, U.S.-based ridesharing giant Uber has settled with Google-parent Alphabet’s Waymo autonomous vehicle division.

According to Bloomberg — citing “a person with knowledge of the accord” — Uber will pay 0.34 percent of its equity to Waymo, which translates into approximately $245 million USD ($309 million CAD).

In a public statement, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi apologized to both Alphabet and his fellow employees.

“While we cannot erase the past, I can commit, on behalf of every Uber employee, that we will learn from it…”

“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,” said Khosrowshahi, in a February 9th, 2018 statement.

“While we cannot erase the past, I can commit, on behalf of every Uber employee, that we will learn from it, and it will information our actions going forward.”

Khosrowshahi also acknowledged that Alphabet is an “important investor” in Uber and that the two companies “share a deep belief in the power of technology to change people’s lives for the better.”

“Of course, we are also competitors,” said Khosrowshahi, in the same statement. “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.”

Khosrowshahi’s comments are in reference to the allegations that Uber gained Waymo trade secrets when Uber acquired Otto — a company founded in 2016 by Anthony Levandowksi, the former Google engineer responsible for developing the company’s self-driving car.

The trade secrets case began on February 5th, 2018.

According to sources who spoke with Gizmodo, Uber earlier this week considered offering $500 million USD to settle the case with Waymo.

Khosrowshahi proposed the amount to Uber’s board, but some board members felt it was possible to settle the case for less money.

Source: Bloomberg, Uber, Gizmodo

Update 09/02/2018 (3:43pm ET): Story updated with additional reporting.