The lawsuit between tech giants Alphabet against Uber has dragged in two more high profile executives. Uber will be allowed to depose Alphabet CEO Larry Page as well as David Drummond, the company's chief legal officer and senior vice president of corporate development. The depositions were requested by Uber, which is currently being sued for alleged patent infringement and stealing trade secrets by Waymo, the Google self-driving project that branched off to become a business under Alphabet. Uber views these depositions as critical information in determining Alphabet's motivation behind the lawsuit and whether it was simply a tactic to delay the development and deployment of their self-driving technology. This is not the first time Larry Page has been requested to be deposed of, the first request came in April during the discovery hearing.
The court ruling is a sign of escalation and hostilities between the two companies. A few years ago, the two companies were on much friendlier terms and had partnerships. Google's venture arm invested into Uber in 2013. Drummond, who oversaw Google's Ventures' investment into Uber, also once held a seat on Uber's board, but was forced to step down in August due to the rising tension and conflict of interest between the two companies. However, the court has placed limitations on the depositions. Both depositions are limited to four hours. The court also favored Uber does not need to take Drummond's deposition regarding why Google did not partner with Uber because "that is a topic on which they were deposing Mr.Page." Waymo has insisted that depositions are not appropriate. But the court has agreed with Uber's stance that Page has "first-hand non-repetitive knowledge of relevant facts."