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A second act seems in the works for Anthony Levandowski

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Good morning, Time period Sheet readers.

With simply hours to go till Joe Biden’s inauguration, President Donald Trump handed out a flurry of pardons, together with ones to former White Home strategist Stephen Bannon and different longtime political allies.

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However some pardons got here as a shock: The White Home introduced the pardons of rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black.

Trump additionally granted clemency to Anthony Levandowski, the previous Google engineer sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing commerce secrets and techniques from the tech big’s self driving automobile unit. U.S. District Decide William Alsup on the time of the sentencing dubbed it the “greatest commerce secret crime I have ever seen.” 

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Levandowski was a founding member of Google’s self-driving automobile challenge earlier than it was often called Waymo. In 2016, the engineer left to discovered a self-driving automobile startup dubbed Otto, a enterprise that was acquired simply months later by Uber. However he was later discovered to have taken hundreds of information from the challenge. Uber fired Levandowski in 2017 earlier than settling its personal lawsuit from Alphabet.

Levandowski pled responsible to stealing commerce secrets and techniques and was compelled to declare chapter after a court docket in San Francisco stated he must pay $179 million to Google.

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Late Tuesday, the White Home stated that Levandowski’s “sentencing choose referred to as him a ‘sensible, groundbreaking engineer that our nation wants. Mr. Levandowski has paid a major worth for his actions and plans to dedicate his abilities to advance the general public good.’”

The pardon was supported by a raft of notable Silicon Valley gamers, together with enterprise capitalist Peter Thiel, Anduril founder Palmer Luckey, and former Walt Disney govt Michael Ovitz.

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“My household and I are grateful for the chance to maneuver ahead, and grateful to the President and others who supported and advocated on my behalf,” Levandowski wrote on Twitter. Since Uber, Levandowski has gone on to co-found one other self-driving startup, Pronto.

It’s arduous to think about Alphabet is happy to listen to the information, although. When requested for an announcement, its self-driving automobile unit Waymo stated it had no remark so as to add.

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CAR BONANZA: Chasing after the subsequent Tesla within the electrical automobile house and the purported $7 trillion self-driving automobile economic system, automobile startups are reaping within the {dollars}. Electrical car firm Rivian raised $2.7 billion because it prepares to convey an SUV to market this summer time. T. Rowe Price Associates led the spherical and was joined by traders together with Constancy, Amazon’s Local weather Pledge Fund, Coatue, and D1 Capital Companions. The spherical values the corporate at practically $28 billion.

Self-driving automobile firm Cruise in the meantime raised $2 billion, pushing its valuation $30 billion. The GM-backed enterprise added Microsoft as a brand new investor because it prepares to begin charging fares this yr in San Francisco.

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