Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Lawyers for Google's former self-driving car unit showed internal Uber emails Wednesday that it says bolster its case that former executive Anthony Levandowski was conspiring to steal trade secrets before he left Waymo.

Why this matters: The parties are in court Wednesday trying to convince a federal judge to halt Uber's work on self-driving cars. In arguing for an injunction, Waymo lawyers argued that Uber and Levandowski devised a plan to come up with a company for Uber to later buy. Uber did later purchase Otto, a self-driving truck company where Levandowski was a founder.

"Clandestine plan": "Secretly Levandowski and Uber were planning while he was still at Waymo and negotiating a deal," Waymo outside attorney Charles Verhoeven said, citing internal Uber e-mails, including some from former Uber executive Brian McClendon, a former Google Maps head who ran some of Uber's advanced technology operations before leaving the company in March. "There was this clandestine plan all along that Uber and Levandowski had a deal."

Waymo lawyers also produced a document showing that Levandowski was awarded 5 million shares of Uber stock with an effective date of Jan. 28, 2016 — the day after he left Google and months before Uber acquired Otto.

Verhoeven also detailed the amount of data that Levandowski accessed from Waymo servers before leaving, saying he downloaded 9.7 gigabytes of data to his company laptop, then connected an external hard drive before reformatting the laptop hard drive, allegedly to cover his tracks.

The judge overseeing the case, William Alsup, challenged Waymo to show evidence that Uber knew Levandowski had downloaded company documents. Verhoeven argued that it can't because Levandowski is asserting his right against self-incrimination and Uber has withheld more than 3,000 documents that might prove the point.

Uber's response: Uber says it is has the right to assert privilege on the documents in question. "We're not hiding anything," Uber outside lawyer Arturo Gonzalez said. "The privilege we are claiming is a legitimate privilege."

As for the stock grant to Levandowski, an Uber representative said that although the vesting start date was for the day after he left Google, it was awarded to him after Uber acquired Otto. The vesting date was made as of January to give him credit for the time he spent at the acquired company, something that is not uncommon in acquisitions. Uber also said that none of his stock has actually vested, with vesting based on meeting certain technical milestone.

Uber also showed off a bulky, imposing device, known as Spider, that it says was one of the LiDAR systems it independently developed and something Waymo says uses its proprietary technology.

Much of the legal argument centered on just what inferences the court can make based on the fact that Levandowski is asserting his Fifth Amendment rights. Waymo wants the court to assume that Levandowski still has the Waymo documents and that Uber has misappopriated trade secrets. Uber, naturally, disagrees.

Judge Alsup has said that there is strong evidence that Levandowski stole documents, but said in court that Waymo has yet to offer up a "smoking gun" that Uber used or even knew of the stolen documents.

The hearing is ongoing. Check back for updates.

Go deeper

22 mins ago - World

U.S. intelligence expects a stormy year in the Middle East

A technical team explodes remnant ammunition near Sirte, Libya. Photo: Mohammed Ertima/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Ongoing conflicts, economic crises and the fallout from COVID-19 will likely destabilize several countries in the Middle East in 2021 and could even put some on the brink of collapse, according to the U.S. intelligence community's annual Threat Assessment Report, released on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The report is the most comprehensive assessment the intelligence community produces every year. It paints a portrait of conflicts, insurgencies, terrorism and protest movements across the Middle East.

Updated 24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Officer Kim Potter arrested, charged with manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Kim Potter, the former police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright outside Minneapolis on Sunday, was arrested and charged by Washington County Pete Orput with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The shooting of the 20-year-old Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minn., just ten miles from where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year, has reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests and led to three consecutive nights of unrest.

Tech dominates highest paying pandemic internships list

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In the past year as the pandemic raged on, some of the world's most valuable companies continued to grow and compensate their workers well above national medians – interns included.

Driving the news: Workplace review platform Glassdoor published its 2021 report today on the 25 highest paying U.S. internships.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!