So this quest gives you two choices, you can start the mission to get Universal Translator, or pay 600 credits to get a company to do it for you.
And....the company option is utter garbage. Paying 600 credits at this point in the game is absolutely insane, that could be two leaders, and you need them all when your expanding. But then you get what amounts to a free tech (which is pretty darn cheap to begin with) and a -1 diplomacy, as opposed to an early culture point.
There is no comparison here, and its very penalizing to a new player that doesn't know any better.