Uber may owe another $128 million to Google for awards related to Uber vs. Waymo

  • Uber may owe Google $US128 million related to arbitration demands against Uber’s former VP of Engineering Anthony Levandowski.
  • The awards stem from Google v. Levandowski & Ron, and Google v. Levandowski. These two cases are separate from, but related to, the Uber vs. Waymo case that kept both companies in the spotlight last spring.
  • The $US128 million awards, issued on March 26, were disclosed Thursday in Uber’s S-1 filing to go public.
  • Uber could be held liable for the awards granted against Levandowski and his co-defendant Lior Ron because the company previously agreed to cover the pair’s legal fees.
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An earlier version of this story had an incorrect number, $US227 million, in the headline. It has since been updated.

One year after settling the blockbuster Uber vs. Waymo lawsuit,Uber may be on the hook for another $US128 million to Google stemming from two separate but related legal issues, according to a disclosure in Uber’s S-1 filing to go public.

On March 26, Uber’s VP of Engineering Anthony Levandowski was found liable for $US127 million, according to the Uber S-1. Levandowksi and Lior Ron, his cofounder at trucking startup Otto, are also jointly liable for a second $US1 million award to Google, according the filing. Otto was purchased by Uber in 2016.

The awards stem from two separate arbitration demands: Google v. Levandowski & Ron, and Google v. Levandowski. Uber may be liable to pay out the awards because the company previously agreed to cover the pair’s legal fees.

The $US128 million in awards follow allegations made by Google in October 2016 that Levandowski and Ron broke their employment agreements with Google, and committed fraud related to proprietary self-driving car LIDAR technologies.

Read more: Uber spent $US3.3 billion on acquisitions in 2018 and 2019 – 10-times more than Lyft

The total cost of those awards could go up significantly if the panel decides to award Google more money to compensate for the costs associated with its lawsuits, including attorney’s fees, according to the S-1.

Uber already settled with Waymo

Uber already paid Google’s self-driving car unit an award in a separate but related lawsuit, Uber vs. Waymo. The companies settled after Uber agreed to pay Waymo $US245 million in equity.

That settlement saw Waymo awarded 0.34% of Uber equity pegged to a $US72 billion valuation for the ride-hailing company, a person familiar with the settlement told Business Insider at the time. Uber is reportedly expected to IPO with a valuation close to $US100 million, which means that today that equity is worth even more.

Because Uber had previously agreed to cover Levandowski and Ron’s legal fees, the company said in its filing that it may be obligated to cover their awards owed to Google as well.

However, the company also said it may contest its obligations here.

Uber declined to comment. Google was not immediately available for comment.

More from Uber’s IPO filing:

Uber has filed to go public in what could be the biggest IPO in years

‘I won’t be perfect, but I will listen to you.’ Uber CEO outlines the company’s ‘enormous’ opportunity while acknowledging its turbulent past in letter to investors

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