In the ongoing legal case between Uber and Waymo, a new filing suggests Uber knew that Anthony Levandowski possessed Google information as of last March, before Otto’s acquisition. The former Google self-driving project engineer founded Otto, and then joined Uber to lead its self-driving efforts when Otto was acquired by the ride-hailing giant.
Waymo’s new filing cites a response from Uber itself, made June 8 in response to a discovery request from Waymo, which contains the following admission:
“On or about March 11, 2016, Mr. Levandowski reported to Mr. Kalanick, Nina Qi and Cameron Poetzscher at Uber as well as Lior Ron that he had identified five discs in his possession containing Google information…”
This would obviously be a strong piece of support for Waymo’s case, as it establishes a timeline in which Uber was aware of Levandowski’s alleged actions even prior to finalizing their acquisition of Otto, which would in turn mean that Uber can’t claim to be completely separated from Levandowski’s actions. Uber has attempted to distance itself from Levandowski in these matters, and in fact dismissed the former Google engineer recently for failing to comply with its own internal investigation.
Waymo also succeeded in a discovery matter to get Stroz Friedberg, the security firm that produced the due diligence report prior to Uber’s acquisition, to produce a laundry list of related documents it collected in pursuit of its due diligence investigation. These are required by the court by June 27, and include any reports created by the firm following its retention by Uber and Otto, as well as communications between Levandowski, the firm, Otto co-founder Lior Ron and their attorneys.
The full filings can be seen below. Waymo declined to comment, and Uber could not immediately be reached for comment.