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Uber will be allowed to depose Alphabet CEO Larry Page

The court has ordered that Uber can depose Page for up to four hours.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page Benjamin Wachenje / CNBC

The court has decided to let Uber depose Alphabet CEO Larry Page as part of the lawsuit Google’s parent company brought against the ride-hail firm.

“As set forth in Uber’s letter brief, Larry Page has first-hand non-repetitive knowledge of relevant facts,” a court filing reads. “Further, less intrusive means, such as interrogatories, are not sufficient.”

The ride-hail company plans to ask Page about why Alphabet chose not to partner with Uber on self-driving, why Alphabet chose to compete with Uber instead and why Page did not inform Uber CEO Travis Kalanick that he discovered a former executive, Anthony Levandowski, allegedly downloaded proprietary files before leaving Alphabet.

This is all in an attempt to discern Alphabet’s motivation in suing the ride-hail company. Uber has long held the position that Alphabet, which is also an investor, was simply trying to slow a competitor with this lawsuit — a position that the company believes has been bolstered now that Alphabet has decided not to pursue some of it patent claims.

Alphabet is suing Uber for allegedly misappropriating trade secrets and patent infringement, claiming that Levandowski stole 14,000 files before leaving to create a startup the ride-hail company later acquired.

Uber also sought to depose Alphabet chief legal officer and former board member at the ride-hail company David Drummond. The court has determined that Uber can depose Drummond unless Alphabet explicitly agrees not to call him as a witness.

This is developing ...

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