In the latest day of Google’s antitrust trial with the DOJ, lead litigator Kenneth Dintzer alleges that Google trained employees to avoid words that could make them sound like monopolists. This included avoiding phrases like “market share” and instead using the term “query share.” Googlers were also reportedly told to avoid using the words “leverage” with regards to any of the company’s products. With Google telling employees that they don’t leverage anything. This was part of a training Google held in 2011 called Antitrust Basics for Search Team. In which it also informed employees that Google doesn’t lock up or lock in users or partners.
According to Dintzer, this was part of Google’s tactics to hide evidence. This was in addition to deleting scores of chat logs between employees via the auto delete function that was enabled when chat history was off for internal communications. As Bloomberg reports, Google would often instruct employees to have conversations with the history off so logs would be deleted in the 24-hour timeframe.
DOJ alleges Google knew it was violating antitrust laws
In the first day of the trial, Dintzer issued his opening statement by saying Google was aware of what it was doing. That it knew it was violating antitrust laws. And that this knowledge has been a big part of its tactics over the years that included history off chats and the avoidance of certain words and phrases.
Based on Dintzer’s presented evidence so far, Google has been using these tactics as far back as 2003. Dintzer also references that Google more recently employed this tactic in October 2021. Where Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai says he needed “a link for my leaders circle tomorrow,” followed by a request that the setting of the chat group be turned to off.
This and other evidence according to Dintzer paints a picture of Google’s true intentions. And its willingness to skirt various antitrust laws to maintain its top spot in search. All of this of course is merely one side of the argument. Google will likely deny these allegations as it has others thus far. But things are already looking a little rough for the search giant. And the trial has barely begun.
Even with Dintzer’s evidence though, things could still go either way. As it’s too early to tell whether or not Google can actually lose this case. You can catch up on all the latest details of the trial here.