AT&T Inc. said on Wednesday it will pay $1,000 bonuses to more than 200,000 employees and invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 once a tax reform bill approved by Congress is signed into law.
AT&T said the bonus payments will go to all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers, totaling more than 200,000 employees. The Dallas-based telecommunications giant also reiterated its plan to invest an additional $1 billion in the USA next year.
After the tax bill passed Wednesday, Trump heralded AT&T's announcement during a celebration with Congressional Republicans at the White House. The Justice Department is now suing to block a proposed $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner, a deal Trump has objected to as "not good for the country". The $1.5 trillion tax cut permanently reduces the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.More news: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Getting 3D Replay and Killcam in Version 1.0
The telecom giant heralded the GOP's tax bill, which both the Senate and House passed this week, as a measure that will "spur much-needed investment and economic growth" in a statement from CEO Randall Stephenson released on Wednesday. The new regulatory landscape will afford AT&T more flexibility to control the pricing and speed of content for its internet customers, although AT&T has said it will not make big changes to the way internet services are delivered.
AT&T supporting the tax bill appears to some as an effort to appeal to Trump's good side, and possibly open the door to more merger negotiations. Companies are mostly expected to buy back stock or pay down debt with their savings.
The announcement comes more than a month after AT&T proposed a $85 billion merger with Time Warner - a deal the Trump administration has blocked with a lawsuit. "They also claimed that the corporate tax plan would produce new jobs in the U.S.as companies return work from offshore". "It's political grandstanding", he said, but at least AT&T is doing the right thing by giving some of the tax bill's benefit to their employees.More news: Cyril Ramaphosa wins ANC presidential race
The moves come as AT&T gears up for a fight with the federal government.
In the 2016 US elections, Republican candidates got 62 percent of $2.7 million in donations to federal candidates from AT&T's political action committee that pools contributions from employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. If the companies don't extend the deadline, AT&T must pay Time Warner a $500 million breakup fee.More news: NBC Wants to Revive The Office for 2018
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