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Former Uber executive Anthony Levandowski. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A San Francisco judge affirmed that Anthony Levandowski, the executive at the center of a 2017 lawsuit between Waymo and Uber over alleged trade secret theft, would have to pay the $179 million arbitration settlement over his departure from the Alphabet company, per Reuters.

Flashback: Waymo, which is owned by Alphabet, sued Uber three years ago, alleging Levandowski and the company conspired to steal its autonomous driving technology. After a year-long legal battle and a week of trial, the companies settled. Since then, Uber has admitted that a review of its tech concluded it would have to make significant changes or pay Waymo a licensing fee.

The intrigue: Lior Ron, who with Levandowski co-founded the company Uber acquired, settled with Waymo for $9.7 million last month, which Uber has paid on his behalf as an indemnified employee, according to Reuters.

  • However, Uber has said it will challenge paying for Levandowski's settlement.
  • Levandowski was also indicted by a federal grand jury in August on charges of theft of trade secrets.

Update: Following the judgment, Levandowski filed for bankruptcy, stating the settlement and other liabilities are larger than his total assets. From his lawyer, Neel Chatterjee:

"This arbitration was not about trade secrets but about employees leaving Google for new opportunities and an engineer being used as a pawn by two tech giants.  Google fought tooth and nail to take back every penny paid to Anthony for his multibillion dollar contributions and now Uber is refusing to indemnify Anthony despite explicitly agreeing to do so. Anthony had no choice but to file for bankruptcy to protect his rights as he pursues the relief he is legally entitled to."
— Neel Chatterjee, Goodwin Procter

Editor's note: The story has been updated to note that Levandowski subsequently filed for bankruptcy.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
14 mins ago - Economy & Business

The European Central Bank and the market's moment of truth

ECB president Christine Lagarde; Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The biggest event for markets this week will be Thursday's meeting of the European Central Bank's governing council and the press conference following it from ECB president Christine Lagarde.

Why it matters: With interest rates jumping around the globe, investors are looking to central bank heads to see if they will follow the lead of Fed chair Jerome Powell, who says rising rates are nothing to worry about, or Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who has drawn a line in the sand on rates.

Mike Allen, author of AM
55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's next power play

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), America's ultimate swing voter, told me on "Axios on HBO" that he'll insist Republicans have more of a voice on President Biden's next big package than they did on the COVID stimulus.

The big picture: Manchin said he'll push for tax hikes to pay for Biden's upcoming infrastructure and climate proposal, and will use his Energy Committee chairmanship to force the GOP to confront climate reality.

Why picking a jury for the Derek Chauvin trial is so hard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The tough task of selecting a jury for former MPD officer Derek Chauvin's trial for the killing of George Floyd is set to begin Monday.

The state of play: "This case may be the most highly publicized criminal trial in a long time. ... That means that it's harder to find people who really have an open mind," Richard Frase, University of Minnesota Law School professor of criminal law, told Axios.