Ride-hailing giant Uber is in a legal battle with Waymo for allegedly colluding to steal technology from the self-driving car program. (Angelo Merendino/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images) SAN FRANCISCO — The stakes are getting higher in a trade secrets case that pits two of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies against each other in a battle over the future of self-driving cars.
A judge asked federal prosecutors Thursday to investigate whether Uber Technologies and one of its executives colluded to steal key technology from Google’s self-driving car project, now known as Waymo, before the executive joined Uber last year.
The possibility of an investigation adds to mounting issues facing Uber and its embattled chief executive, Travis Kalanick. The ride-hailing giant, which is valued by private investors at nearly $70 billion, is also facing a criminal probe by the Justice Department over the company’s use of software that was designed to evade authorities in cities where Uber was not yet legal. That criminal investigation is ongoing, according to people familiar with the matter.
“It is very rare for a judge to refer a matter over to the U.S. attorney and signals the judge’s displeasure with Uber in the trade secrets civil lawsuit,” said Carl Tobias […]