AT&T Hands Trump A Reason To Boast As Firm Faces Critical DOJ Lawsuit




AT&T Hands Trump A Reason To Boast As Firm Faces Critical DOJ Lawsuit
AT&T Hands Trump A Reason To Boast As Firm Faces Critical DOJ Lawsuit  

WASHINGTON ― Almost immediately after Congress passed legislation that will slash the corporate tax rate, AT&T announced that it would give a $1,000 bonus to 200,000 of its workers. That's very nice for those workers.

It's also a very convenient public relations move by AT&T, which is trying to buy Time Warner over the objections of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Justice Department's antitrust division filed a lawsuit on Nov. 20 to block AT&T's $85 billion purchase of Time Warner. The federal lawyers argue that the vertical integration of one of the nation's largest telecommunications firms with one of the nation's largest media firms would limit competition and "greatly harm American consumers."

Presumably with no thought of that legal struggle, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson praised the president for making the $200 million in bonuses for his company's employees possible. "Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world," Stephenson said in a statement.

President Donald Trump, in turn, praised AT&T. At a Rose Garden celebration after Congress finally passed the bill that will lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, Trump pointed to AT&T's just-announced bonuses and said, "That's because of what we did. So that's pretty good. That's pretty good."

Trump's previous statements about AT&T haven't sounded nearly as friendly, specifically his comments opposing the attempted purchase of Time Warner.

"I've always felt that that was a deal that's not good for the country. I think your pricing is going to go up," the president said after the Justice Department filed suit against the merger. He added, "But I'm not going to get involved. It's litigation."

The $200 million cost of providing $1,000 bonuses to so many AT&T employees is actually a drop in the bucket for a company that saw pre-tax operating income of $6.4 billion in just the third quarter of 2017. The money will surely be welcomed by workers, although given as a bonus, the $1,000 is less than it sounds. Employee bonuses are taxed at a 25 percent rate, which is higher than most employees will pay on their ordinary income. Additionally, AT&T had already agreed in a union negotiation to provide $1,000 lump sum payments to 20,000 workers if they approve a new contract by Jan. 12.

AT&T, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, was a major lobbying force in support of the tax legislation. It joined more than 30 other corporations ― including Aetna, Altria, Boeing, Ford, General Dynamics, Reynolds American and Verizon (which owns HuffPost) ― in the RATE Coalition, an astroturf lobbying group that has pushed for a corporate tax cut for years. It ran television ads in 2016 and purchased social media ads promoting the bill in recent weeks.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Treasury Secretary: Trump not threatening Fed
Treasury Secretary: Trump not threatening Fed's independence

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday that Donald Trump was not trying to put pressure on the Federal Reserve when he criticized its decision to raise interest rates.

Trump denies wrongdoing, says lawyer
Trump denies wrongdoing, says lawyer's tape 'perhaps illegal'

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday denied any wrongdoing a day after reports that his onetime attorney had recorded them both discussing buying the rights to a story by a woman who said she had an affair with Trump. "Inconceivable that the government

Russia says Putin, Trump discussed referendum in Ukraine
Russia says Putin, Trump discussed referendum in Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed a possible referendum in separatist-leaning eastern Ukraine during their Helsinki summit earlier this week, Russia's ambassador to the U.S. said Friday.

Trump
Trump 'disagrees' with Putin offer to interview Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump "disagrees" with Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer to allow the U.S. to question 12 Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 election in exchange for permitting Russia to interview Americans the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes, the

Putin accuses U.S. forces of trying to ruin Trump summit outcome
Putin accuses U.S. forces of trying to ruin Trump summit outcome
  • World
  • 2018-07-19 14:54:10Z

By Andrew Osborn and Olesya Astakhova MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused forces in the United States of trying to undermine the success of his first summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, but said the two leaders had begun to improve U.S.-Russia ties anyway. Putin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.