An Uber due diligence report that could prove to be damning in Waymo’s case against the company was made public Monday.
Recode reports that a due diligence report commissioned by Uber during their purchase of Otto, a self-driving trucking startup founded by former Google employee Anthony Levandowski, was recently released online. The report is expected to come as quite a blow to Uber as they are currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Waymo, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, which alleges that Levandowski stole 14,000 confidential files from Google’s self-driving car project Waymo before he left.
Uber and Levandowski fought the inclusion of the report in the lawsuit, claiming that it was privileged information. Judge William Alsup disagreed and allowed the report to be produced. Levandowski appealed this decision, but Alsup’s judgment was upheld, and Alphabet received the due diligence report on September 13.
According to the report, Levandowski, “(a) possessed Google information; (b) met with a number of Google employees about joining his start-up company; (c) met with Uber executives, while employed at Google, about forming a new company; and (d) destroyed highly confidential Google proprietary information he had stored on five disks on his personal Drobo 50, including source code, files, and software pertaining to self-driving cars.”
The company that produced the report also found texts between Levandowski and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick discussing the self-driving car industry and working with Uber dating back to February and March 2016, just weeks after Levandowski left Waymo and launched Otto. The due diligence report also lists other information found on Levandowski’s phones, including “pictures of the construction process of Google car, such as components/connections and parts” as well as “drawings and diagrams, such as figures depicting radar technology.”
Uber, however, claims that former CEO Travis Kalanick insisted Levandowski destroy any Google files before working at Uber and that the due diligence report confirms this claim. “Before Uber acquired Otto, we hired an independent forensics firm to conduct due diligence because we wanted to prevent any Google IP from coming to Uber,” an Uber spokesperson claimed. “Their report, which we are pleased is finally public, helps explain why—even after 60 hours of inspection of our facilities, source code, documents and computers—no Google material has been found at Uber.”
The full due diligence report can be read below: