AT&T said Wednesday it will give 200,000 of its US employees a $1,000 bonus once the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is signed into law - a move President Trump touted in a speech after Congress passed the massive tax cut bill.
"We believe tax reform is good for our USA economy and are pleased to take these immediate steps to invest in our team members, communities, small businesses, and homeowners", said President and CEO Tim Sloan in a company release. The idea that the new tax cuts will necessarily pay for themselves by generating federal revenue growth is dubious; the idea that the AT&T bonuses might pay for themselves by smoothing the way for merger approval isn't.
"Tax breaks don't lead to job creation", Schumer continued.
"If the President signs the bill before Christmas, employees will receive the bonus over the holidays", the press release said.
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In a televised speech Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Mr. Trump praised the company's move. President Trump himself has stated that he's no fan of the merger. Trump has said the deal is "not good for the country" because it might make prices increase.
During the tax debate, Stephenson has often said AT&T would use the savings for infrastructure spending and to hire more workers. At the center of that conflict was CNN, which the president has often blasted as "fake news".
Last month, Stephenson blasted the Department of Justice over its plans to sue to block his company's $84.5 billion takeover of Time Warner. But AT&T and Time Warner executives say privately that such a concession is not realistic, given that DirecTV and its DirecTV Now streaming service would be crucial to a combined AT&T-Time Warner.
AT&T's general counsel fired back, stating, "Vertical mergers like this one are routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market".