Google and its parent company, Alphabet, train employees to avoid using certain words and phrases in internal communications, assuming that each document will be made public, According to The Markup’s latest report. But Google says the practice, known as “standard compliance training,” has been going on for years. In the document entitled “Five Rules of Thumb for Written Communication”, it emphasizes the importance of the language, particularly in matters relating to antitrust.
The Markup notes that Google advises all employees, including engineers, marketers, interns, suppliers, contractors, and temporary workers, to avoid potentially monopolistic terms such as market access, barriers, and network effects.
Alphabet, the parent company that accounts for a significant portion of regulatory investigations, has faced a number of lawsuits, according to one of the documents.
In an email tomedia TheVerge, Google spokeswoman Julie Tarallo McAlister said:
Many large companies provide fully standardized antitrust compliance training to their employees and have been in place for more than a decade.
We will also instruct our staff to create excellent products in accordance with the principle of fair competition, rather than simply meeting outside competition and concerns.
The Markup describes the training documents, as well as some of the details of the antitrust case. For example, one of the documents suggests using third-party data to describe Google’s position in the search space, and emphasizes that slides for presentation and sales promotion should not be printed or distributed.
Google also advises employees to use the term “user’s search preferences” rather than referring directly to the company’s market share. and use terms such as “industry, space, region” to refer to “market” or use “challenges” to replace “barriers to entry”.