Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) autonomous vehicle subsidiary Waymo Friday morning settled a $1 billion lawsuit it had filed against ride-sharing service Uber for a 0.34% equity stake in Uber. At Uber’s most recent valuation ($72 billion), Waymo’s stake is valued at around $245 million. Uber paid no cash in the court-approved settlement.
The dispute began when Uber acquired self-driving start-up Otto, a company founded by former Googler Anthony Levandowski. Google accused Levandowski of pilfering the company’s trade secrets on his way out the door and taking them to Uber.
In a statement, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, actually did sound apologetic about the entire episode:
My job as Uber’s CEO is to set the course for the future of the company: innovating and growing responsibly, as well as acknowledging and correcting mistakes of the past. In doing so, I want to express regret for the actions that have caused me to write this letter. … 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. While I cannot erase the past, I can commit, on behalf of every Uber employee, that we will learn from it, and it will inform our actions going forward.
A report at The Verge cited an unnamed source who said that under the terms of the settlement Uber is prohibited from using any Waymo technology trade secrets.
As of a year ago, Alphabet’s venture capital arm, Google Ventures, had invested more than $300 million in Uber. More than $250 of that was invested early when Uber’s valuation was in the $3 billion to $4 billion range. In 2015, Alphabet owned a stake of about 6.8% in Uber. Google Ventures also led a $1 billion venture round last year for Uber competitor Lyft.