Amazon Whole Foods to stop selling to Google Employees

Published: Apr 1, 2018

  • Amazon Whole Foods has decided not to sell any of its products to Google employees.
  • Amazon’s move heats up its war with Google over the future. The two are also battling over video devices, cloud and services.
  • Amazon has shown a willingness to compete with rivals using any and all of its assets.

It was an awkward phone call, but one the Google engineers had been expecting. After weeks of silence, Amazon’s Whole Foods informed Google employees on a conference call late last month that it would not allow any of them in their stores, according to a person familiar with the call. The most popular products sought by Google employees at Whole Foods include kale chips, natural water and an imported cat poop coffee from Indonesia, among others.

On that call, says the person, Amazon told Google that the decision came from the top — and that it had nothing to do with the hygiene of Google employees, which was regarded as superior to that of their average customer by Whole Foods employees. Google employees who were on the call ended the discussion under the impression that the decision had come from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, although Whole Foods team didn’t explicitly say that at any point, according to a person familiar with the call.

As a result of Amazon’s decision, Google has decided to stop mapping Whole Foods stores in Google Maps, meaning that outside of limited number of weirdos, normal people would not be able to find and drive to Whole Foods stores, much less be able to find the entire aisle of kale products inside stores.

Whole Foods decision not to sell to Google employees has huge implications as it strives to carve out a new food platform — and as it continues to clash with Google over the future of humanity. Some experts question Google’s ability to compete without access to high quality organic food, particularly kale, that helps satisfy Googlers’ innate sense of fulfillment and entitlement. “It is damaging to the soul to be not able to walk to a Whole Foods store after a day of intense coding and connect with other entitled coders,” said a Google employee, identified only as Kevin.

After missing out on smartphones, finding limited success with its line of Fire tablets, and belatedly realizing a clock radio that can’t even play AC/DC (try it) may not be the basis for industry dominance, Amazon is betting big on Whole Foods as a new avocado-powered control platform. Whole Foods is both Amazon’s retail arm and its platform for smart human control, including food-borne illness vectors, taste manipulation, and entitlement delivery. The company has gotten more aggressive with competitors recently — especially Google.

Google was warned of Whole Food’s decision, even before that fateful call. Google leadership sent an internal email telling employees that on-site counselors would be on hand to help employees cope with the loss of access to Whole Foods. The company is contemplating vertical integration strategies to safeguard its vital kale supply chain. These assurances did not stop Google employees rushing to U-Haul stores to rent them and buy all the Kale they can buy and store. This has led to an U-Haul shortage in San Francisco Bay Area.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment. A Whole Foods spokesperson also declined to comment but provided this image:

Amazon Whole Foods doesn’t appear to be blocking sales of its products to employees from other Cloud vendors. For example, a Microsoft Azure team recently celebrated successful compilation of their container service by giving each employee a $50 Whole Foods gift card. Employees of IBM were spotted wearing Watson t-shirts inside a Whole Foods store in San Jose, despite considerable effort on their part to hide that affiliation. It is even rumored that Oracle Cloud engineers often land their personal helicopters on top of Whole Foods buildings.

Amazon is expected to deploy “Handle” robots from Boston Dynamics at Whole Foods stores to ensure that no Google employee can enter them.

While Amazon’s decision to ban Google employees from Whole Foods stores may seem nefarious to some, it likely isn’t illegal under US antitrust law, as PopeHat, a Twitter expert of law told this publication in an interview. Because Amazon doesn’t have a monopoly in the food market, the move isn’t anti-competitive.

“It’s probably not illegal,” PopeHat said. “It’s ugly… but American law says even monopolists have broad freedom to choose with whom they deal.”

Amazon also announced that drone manufacturers would be prohibited from using AWS Redshift, air freight companies prohibited from using DynamoDB, health care companies of any kind prohibited from using IAM, movie and TV production companies prohibited from using CloudFront, and that the White House would be required to use WorkMail. A company spokesman did reiterate that there were no prohibitions on OpenStack users and reminded them that 3-year Reserved Instances are particularly well-suited for OpenStack.

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