Nov 29, 2017

Revelations of secretive tactics complicate Uber's case in Waymo suit

Anthony Levandowski, then-head of Uber's self-driving program, speaks about their driverless car in San Francisco. Photo: Eric Risberg / AP

Uber is facing even more questions about its alleged attempts to interfere with a trade secrets theft lawsuit from Waymo after two ex-employees testified in court Tuesday. The testimonies were prompted by the discovery last week of a critical letter written on behalf of one of them, which led to a delay of the trial.

Why it matters: Uber's concealment of the letter likely spent whatever patience the presiding judge had left for the ride-hailing company. Moreover, the former employee, whose attorney drafted the letter in question, testified that Uber had a unit dedicated to gathering information and trade secrets from competitors overseas, and set up channels for untraceable communications. Still, the other employee's testimony as well as his denials of some claims in the letter also hint that this may not help Waymo's case after all.

Up next: The court will be making public a redacted version of the letter tomorrow, though the former employee has submitted a request that it be kept confidential. Angela Padilla, an in-house lawyer for Uber, will also testify tomorrow about the letter.

Go deeper

Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.

Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World