Travis Kalanick gives court details about Uber's evolving relationship with Google


Travis Kalanick gives court details about Uber's evolving relationship with Google

But in a deposition previous year, Benchmark venture capitalist Bill Gurley, an early Uber investor and former board member, said Kalanick told the board the diligence report was "clean". Waymo, the self-driving vehicle startup spun out of Google parent Alphabet, is suing Uber, alleging Uber stole its trade secrets.

Waymo sought to portray Kalanick as so eager to improve Uber's autonomous vehicle business that he quickly acquired Otto and hired Levandowski without properly assessing the risks.

When Google's venture capital arm invested $258 million into Uber in 2013, Kalanick didn't see the two companies as being competitive, since Google was working on autonomous vehicles and Uber was working on ride-sharing. Kalanick testified that he never read the Uber-commissioned report.

"To what extent was Anthony Levandowski hired in order to get Google's trade secrets?" she said. That eventually led to a meeting with Page.

The trial opening Monday in San Francisco federal court comes almost a year after Google spin-off Waymo sued Uber, accusing it of ripping off key pieces of its self-driving auto technology in 2016. "The general understanding is Google is doing this self-driving thing". Uber is doing this ride share thing. "Maybe we can partner up".

"It was kind of like little brother/big brother. kind of hard to grok now". Over time, however, the relationship soured.

But then Google grew increasingly interested in launching its own Uber competitor. "A meeting with with Larry could calm this down if it's not true, but he has been avoiding any meeting with me since last fall", a anxious Kalanick told Drummond, in e-mails disclosed during the trial.

And then he discussed how it disintegrated as Google started to compete with Uber.

Kalanick was an important witness for Waymo, which alleges that he helped facilitate the theft of eight self-driving auto trade secrets so that Uber could bolster its own autonomous vehicle effort. "Larry was fairly upset with us about us acquiring the C.M.U. team", Kalanick testified. He also said that, while Uber had agreed to indemnify Levandowski if Google ever sued, he doesn't remember that agreement including language about "bad acts". Among other things, Kalanick is likely to be asked about pre-trial evidence that he knew Levandowski possessed five computer disks with data taken from Google. He says the question here is where Levandowski ends and where Waymo begins. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. "Greed, in all of its forms - greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind". In an attempt to liken Kalanick to the ruthless Gekko, Waymo sought permission to play the "greed is good" clip in court.

During the conversation, Kalanick disputed that Google employees were intellectual property.

Waymo pressed Kalanick, using various emails and text messages trying to paint the picture that he was trying overtake Waymo at all costs while knowing that his own company faced an existential threat.

"It all really comes down to what particular information did they use and should they have realized that the engineer from Google had obtained it in violation of the law", said Franklin.

At one point during his portion of argument, Verhoeven referenced a text message that former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski sent to Kalanick containing a link to a YouTube video: the "greed is good" monologue from the film Wall Street. Kalanick said that until the lawsuit, he hadn't heard Levandowski downloaded Google files with the goal of bringing to Uber. The trial is scheduled to continue with witness testimonies for twelve more days. Waymo also alleged that Uber's former star engineer, Levandowski, pilfered about 14,000 files from Waymo before he quit that company in 2016 to form his own self-driving truck startup, Otto, which Uber later acquired.



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