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AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Anthony Levandowski, the former Alphabet engineer at the center of an IP theft lawsuit against Uber, was secretly affiliated with competing self-driving car startups while working at Alphabet, according to October arbitration demand documents that were just made public.

Odin Wave: The company was incorporated in 2012, and registered to an address in Berkeley, Calif. owned by Levandowski. In 2013, the company reportedly ordered a custom part from a vendor used by Google that was very similar to Google's. Google employees questioned Levandowski but he denied any involvement with the company.

Tyto Lidar: By Feb. 2014, Odin Wave merged with Tyto Lidar, a company developing LiDAR sensor modules and whose manager is friends with Levandowki. In spring 2015, Google started considering work with or acquiring Tyto given the overlap in technologies, with Levandowski participating in the process without disclosing his relation to the company. By May 18, 2016, Tyto merged with Otto, the self-driving car startup Levandowski had recently left Google to start.

Otto: Levandowski and one other unnamed employee abruptly resigned from Google on Jan. 27 and 13, 2016, respectively, and formed Otto. They had been aggressively courting other Google employees in prior months, and hosted two meetings at Levandowski's home to convince them to join Otto that month. Google believes they hid their plans to form a competing company during their exit interviews. Google also believes Levandowski, who began plotting to leave in mid-2015, waited until he could collect the final payment of the $120 million for his work at Google.

What's next: Uber is still hoping to move the lawsuit to private arbitration, citing the arbitration clause in Levandowski's employment contract.

Go deeper

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

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.