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An Expensive (Proposed) Apology: Is it possible that the ongoing lawsuit between Alphabet’s Waymo self-driving car business and Uber could have been settled for the price of an apology? Oh, and $1 billion, too?
It might have come to that, according to a report from Reuters citing “sources familiar with the matter.”
As you may know, Waymo and Uber are engaged in a lawsuit over self-driving technology. Waymo sued Uber back in February, alleging that former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski took more than 14,000 confidential company files with him when he left Waymo to start Otto, a self-driving truck company. Uber bought Otto not long after Levandowski started the company and has denied any wrongdoing against Waymo.
With so much riding on the promise of self-driving car technology, it should come as no surprise that Waymo would want to do whatever it can to give itself an edge in the marketplace. And keeping its trade secrets secret is likely Priority No. 1 for the company.
But, it seems like Waymo was willing to let bygones be bygones, for a price. According to Reuters, Waymo was willing to drop the matter if Uber made a public apology about taking Waymo’s intellectual property, and if Uber paid Waymo at least $1 billion.
Waymo wouldn’t confirm the apology-payment possibility, and the company recently got the trial delayed until December so that it can go through more evidence that Uber didn’t turn over earlier in the pre-trial proceedings.
And by that time, the price of settling may only go up.
Speaking of a Billion Bucks: It’s no secret that Google has a lot of money. Its parent company, Alphabet, has almost $95 billion in cash and cash-related assets on its balance sheet. But even for a company with as much money on hand as Google, giving away $1 billion is no small feat. However, giving away $1 billion is just what Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said the company would do over the next five years, as part of a new initiative to support education, opportunity and diversity around the world. Google also launched a program called “Grow With Google” to offer training and technological skills to American workers in order to promote entrepreneurial efforts.
Here, There and Anywhere: In 2019, Disney will launch its own standalone internet TV streaming service, which will be the only such streaming offering to carry the movies of Disney, and studios it owns such as Pixar and Lucasfilm. Before then, you can watch Disney-affiliated titles like Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” and Disney’s own “Beauty and the Beast” on Netflix. In the meantime, Disney has lined up four other Hollywood studios to make their films available in Disney’s new Movies Anywhere digital locker, which will let consumers store and stream movies they purchase over a variety of digital devices.
Bottom of the Lineup:
It’s On Us: Facebook is picking up the tab to train about 40 students at a Menlo Park-based nonprofit organization called JobTrain. The social-media giant is putting $207,000 into JobTrain to fund the training of two programs: a 16-week general labor program and a 17-week carpentry program that starts later in October.
Quote of the Day: “There is no truth to the notion that laws forbidding sexual orientation discrimination are unreasonably costly or burdensome for business.” — An amicus, or friend of the court brief, signed by Apple, Facebook, Google and other companies in which they call upon the Supreme Court to rule on the matter of whether businesses can discriminate against employees due to their sexual orientation.
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