Uber is looking to get Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page to provide a deposition in the ongoing court case between itself and Waymo. The company made the request in court today during a discovery hearing before Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, and Waymo opposed the request.
The court ended up saying it’ll allow a single question for Page from Uber, about whether a conversation took place between him and Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski about Levandowski potentially going to Uber ahead of the August announcement regarding the ride-hailing company’s acquisition of Otto. Waymo’s lawyers say this conversation never occurred.
What Uber seems to want to prove is that Page might have been aware that Levandowski took the documents from Google prior to his departure, but didn’t reveal that knowledge during that conversation, or during a subsequent conversation with Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. Uber’s contention seems to be that were the information disclosed during either of these conversations, that throws some cold water on Waymo’s claims that Levandowski’s actions included malicious intent.
Uber seems to be seeking Page’s testimony as a workaround, given that Levandowski has asserted his Fifth Amendment rights and won’t be a source for particulars, including what conversations he may or may not have had with Google’s co-founder prior to the Otto deal going down. Business Insider reports that Uber’s lawyer Arturo Gonzalez told the court on Tuesday that Page was aware Levandowski had downloaded and taken 14,000 Google files prior to his departure.
The court ruled against Levandowski’s Fifth Amendment rights extending to allow redactions of a privilege log revealing legal details between Uber and Levandowski around the outset of their acquisition agreement.
We’ll hear more about whether Waymo will get the preliminary injunction it’s seeking against Uber next week, at a hearing around the request.