Kia Kokalitcheva May 12, 2017
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Uber's legal troubles just got a whole lot worse

A federal judge has denied Uber's request to move to arbitration a trade secrets theft lawsuit filed by Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car unit. He also is referring the theft claims to the U.S. Attorney's office, which may or may not investigate.

What it means: With the request denied, Uber and Waymo's battle over allegedly stolen self-driving car technology will continue to play out in public. The judge's ruling is a blow to Uber, which had sought to avoid a PR nightmare of a trial, in which all parties will be required to reveal information about their operations, business, and technology.

But the U.S. attorney referral could be an even bigger deal, as it could theoretically expand Uber's troubles from civil to criminal.