UBER AND WAYMO have settled their differences out of court, bringing a sudden halt to what had been expected to be a lengthy trial.
In a settlement worth $245m (around £177m), Waymo will take a small share in Uber (0.34 per cent), which has agreed not to use any Waymo technology in its self-driving cars.
Waymo acquired Otto, a self-driving truck company started by an ex-Google (now Waymo) employee that Waymo had alleged was using their proprietary technology, stolen in the form of 14,000 documents, in the run-up to his departure.
Uber's new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement: "While we won't agree on everything going forward, we agree that Uber's acquisition of Otto could and should have been handled differently."
Uber's controversial founder and ousted CEO Travis Kalanick had appeared before the court already, where asked if it was true that he had claimed to want a "pound of flesh" from Google, he had admitted to using the phrase "from time to time".
However, Uber maintains that it did not use any stolen information and doesn't believe such data ever made it into Uber's hands, beyond concepts that would have been in the head of Mr Levandowski.
This appears to be one of those goodwill gestures which deny responsibility whilst protecting the matter from more careful legal scrutiny.
The fact that Kalanick had already taken the stand will represent something of a sigh of relief for many, given Kalanick's regular outspoken views and actions.
Kalanick had been called up for both the prosecution and defence as a witness, meaning he would have had to testify a second time.
The figure, though high, has been given in stock, which will represent a huge saving to Uber, who could have faced a $1bn fine and a ban from working on autonomous vehicles.
Even with $560m for Otto and the $245m settlement, the company is up on the deal.
"We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology," said Waymo spokesman.
"This includes an agreement to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software." µ
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