- Google reportedly trains new employees to avoid using certain words that may jeopardize the company in antitrust backlash down the line, per a report from The Markup.
- The off-limits words include “unique,” “dominant,” “the leader,” and “unmatched,” among others. Google also reminds employees to avoid sending a message that the firm is out to ‘crush,’ ‘kill,’ ‘hurt,’ ‘block,’ or do anything else that might be perceived as evil or unfair.”
- A company spokesperson told Business Insider that it has had these training guides in place for employees for “well over a decade.”
- The report comes as Google remains embroiled in multiple antitrust investigations both in the US and in Europe.
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Alphabet, Google’s parent company, reportedly trains new employees to not use certain words that may come back to haunt the firm in antitrust backlash.
According to a report from The Markup, the company’s list of words and phrases that are off-limits includes “the leader” and “market share.” Instead of saying “unique,” employees could say “new” or “alternative.” And in place of “dominant,” employees could use “successful,” according to one of the documents, which the outlet uploaded to a cloud file. Employees across various departments, from engineering to sales, receive the training according to the report.
“Alphabet gets sued a lot, and we have our fair share of regulatory investigations,” one internal document reads, according to the outlet. “Assume every document will become public.”
Lawmakers that are currently probing Google and other firms over antitrust concerns are tasked with identifying a number of factors before being able to take legal action against the companies, one of which is establishing that they do in fact have dominance in the market.
Search is Google’s most profitable business product, and the company operating 90% of all search queries. But according to documents, the company instructs employees to discuss market dominance carefully.
“We use the term ‘User Preference for Google Search’ and never the term market share,” reads the document.
Another factor lawmakers have to prove is that companies are harming consumers and small business owners. In another internal file, the company reminds employees to “always include at least one” example of how business decisions are designed to benefit the public.
“We are not out to ‘crush,’ ‘kill,’ ‘hurt,’ ‘block,’ or do anything else that might be perceived as evil or unfair,” one of the documents reads according to The Markup. “Microsoft famously got into trouble when one of their employees threatened to ‘cut off Netscape’s air supply.'”
Company spokesperson Julie Tarallo McAlister told Business Insider: “These are completely standard competition law compliance trainings that most large companies provide to their employees. We instruct employees to compete fairly and build great products, rather than focus or opine on competitors. We’ve had these trainings in place for well over a decade.”
The report surfaces as Google remains tied up in multiple antitrust investigations in the US and in Europe, including a congressional probe into the firm as well as into Amazon, Apple, and Facebook over concerns regarding anti-competitive business practices.
Read the full report on The Markup here.
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