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Businesses Google The Courts

Uber Settles Dispute With Alphabet's Self-driving Car Unit (cnbc.com) 39

In a shocking development, Uber said on Friday it has settled the high-stakes trade-secret theft lawsuit brought by Alphabet's Waymo, resolving a conflict that already cost the ride-hailing giant its top driverless car engineer and threatened to further embarrass the company. From a report: Uber will pay Waymo a 0.34 percent equity stake amounting to about $245 million at Uber's recent $72 billion valuation, the companies said on Friday, after days of courtroom theatrics. Uber has also agreed not to incorporate Waymo's confidential information into its hardware and software, though Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi writes that he doesn't believe his company used any of Waymo's trade secrets in the first place. Khosrowshahi says that he feels "regret" over the dispute and wished his predecessors had handled it differently.

Uber Settles Dispute With Alphabet's Self-driving Car Unit

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  • What? (Score:2, Troll)

    Why is Google taking an equity stake in a company that promotes such a toxic workplace? Shameful. It is almost like they are in it for the money or something.
    • promotes such a toxic workplace...

      I would hasten to add that toxic workplace is as most subjective as can be, and that this is *your* opinion.

      A company of Uber's size will have haters and employees of all manner of persuasion.

      Heck, I am sure that what you call a toxic workplace has a lot of people waiting in line to join.

      • Subjectivity has no place on the Internet.
      • promotes such a toxic workplace...

        I would hasten to add that toxic workplace is as most subjective as can be, and that this is *your* opinion.

        There are a lot of external references to Uber's toxic workplace. Try google searching Uber+toxic+workplace. A few hits I could dismiss as "a few haters", but I get 443 thousand hits.

        Here are some of the top few. It looks pretty toxic to me:
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/technology/uber-fired.html
        https://www.recode.net/2017/6/21/15844852/uber-toxic-bro-company-culture-susan-fowler-blog-post
        https://thinkprogress.org/travis-kalanick-uber-resigns-a8537d468f11/
        https://www.recode.net/2017/6/21/1584485

      • I would hasten to add that toxic workplace is as most subjective as can be, and that this is *your* opinion.

        Hardly. 20 seconds on google and you'll find literally thousands of articles documenting in great detail how rotten the company culture is. Not even remotely the "opinion" of one person.

        Heck, I am sure that what you call a toxic workplace has a lot of people waiting in line to join.

        There are lots of people who are attracted to others that share terrible values and behave badly. Doesn't make it something to be celebrated or forgiven.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why is Google taking an equity stake in a company that promotes such a toxic workplace? Shameful. It is almost like they are in it for the money or something.

      This case was always about the IP, not money. Waymo gets what it really wanted (Uber cannot use any of its IP). Both sides can now go spin the settlement.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )

      Maybe they want to try and fix it. Maybe it's already being fixed.

      More likely they don't care - Google is pretty toxic in their own way, except they discriminate in a way you think is okay.

    • Why is Google taking an equity stake in a company that promotes such a toxic workplace?

      This could be a way to ensure that Travis Kalanick and his co-founders cannot take back control of the company.

      Right now, they still have way too many shares. [reuters.com]

      • This could be a way to ensure that Travis Kalanick and his co-founders cannot take back control of the company.

        Right now, they still have way too many shares. [reuters.com]

        .34 percent is not nearly enough to have any say in what goes on.

      • by thomst ( 1640045 )

        110010001000 inquired:

        Why is Google taking an equity stake in a company that promotes such a toxic workplace?

        to which stephanruby responded:

        This could be a way to ensure that Travis Kalanick and his co-founders cannot take back control of the company.

        Right now, they still have way too many shares. [reuters.com]

        From TFS:

        Uber will pay Waymo a 0.34 percent equity stake

        One third of one percent of Uber's total outstanding shares isn't going to prevent Kalanick and his co-founders from doing anything.

        So, no, that's not it, at all ...

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday February 09, 2018 @12:13PM (#56095737)

    Uber will pay Waymo a 0.34 percent equity stake amounting to about $245 million at Uber's recent $72 billion valuation, the companies said on Friday, after days of courtroom theatrics.

    Uber worth $72 billion? For a privately held company that had a loss of $3.8 billion on revenue of $6.5 billion? For a business with limited economies of scale? (providing twice as many rides does not result in major cost savings) Anyone who actually believes Uber is worth that much is a weapons grade idiot. It's like the dotcom boom all over again.

    Basically they arrive at a "$72 billion valuation" by someone buying a portion of the company and then extrapolating what that person thinks it is worth. So if I buy 1% of a company for $1 million I'm effectively valuing the company at $100 million. Doesn't mean it is actually worth that because you have to consider the winners curse [wikipedia.org]. Just because someone is willing to overpay doesn't mean others will.

    • I know, right? It is almost like there are people and companies out there who are doing it intentionally in order to make money. Very insightful.
  • Curious is he indicted on theft? I tried to google him but there was so much noise in the results from this trial I did not see anything.

    • The judge gave the US prosecutor all the evidence Waymo had on the guy. Give it some time for them to get their own investigation completed.

  • To be honest I can't say I'm too surprised hearing about all the evidence against Uber. While no one can be entirely sure, there's a very high possibility that they were in the wrong so by settling it stopped an embarrassing and potentially damaging legal case against them. You only need to look at their history to see that virtually everything they've done is borderline sketchy and or illegal or in grey areas. Even the reason why they want to automate cars is to line their bottom line by getting rid of

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