Former head of Uber’s self-driving unit Anthony Levandowski files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Anthony Levandowski, the former head of Uber Technologies Inc’s self-driving technology unit, has filed for bankruptcy protection following a court order confirming that he must pay $179 million to Google to end a lawsuit over his split from Alphabet Inc’s Waymo.

In December, an arbitration panel had ruled that Levandowski, a former key engineer in Google’s self-driving project, along with colleague Lior Ron, had engaged in unfair competition and was found in breach of their legal obligations by starting a rival company and bringing over Google employees.

Uber, which later acquired the startup co-founded by Levandowski, indemnified workers under its employment agreements.

In a financial filing, Uber has maintained that it will challenge paying the $179 million fee against its former employee Levandowski, who is fighting a federal indictment on charges of stealing trade secrets from Google.

Uber declined to comment.

Levandowski’s attorney Neel Chatterjee did not respond to a request for comment.

Levandowski has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows him to negotiate debts. As per his filing, he has $50 million to $100 million in estimated assets, along with $100 million to $500 million in liabilities.

Although he has disputed the arbitration ruling, a San Francisco County court on Wednesday confirmed the arbitration panel’s decision and award.

Ron, who remains at Uber, has settled with Google for $9.7 million in February. On Wednesday, Alphabet’s Waymo confirmed saying Uber had paid the full amount that Ron owed.

In a statement, Waymo said it would “continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our confidential information is protected.”

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