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AT&T Tells Shareholders NSA Cooperation Not Their Concern
by Karl Bode 08:36AM Tuesday Dec 10 2013
Last month AT&T and Verizon shareholders pressured the two companies into detailing their cooperation with the NSA, arguing that their relationship with the agency harmed consumer trust, and therefore the companies as a whole. AT&T's response to those investors? It's none of your business. In a letter sent to investors this week, AT&T stated that its dealings with the NSA were "ordinary business matters" not subject to shareholder approval, and that "protecting customer privacy is a management function" not involving shareholders. As such, AT&T says they'd prefer it if any mention of the NSA was excluded from the ballot for AT&T’s annual shareholder meeting next spring.

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Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

2 recommendations

Jedi mind tricks?

*AT&T waves hand*
AT&T: "This is not the news you are looking for."
Shareholders: "This is not the news we were looking for."
AT&T: "You will invest more money in us."
Shareholders: "We will invest more money in you."
AT&T: "Move along now."
Shareholders: "Let's move along now."
--
-Jason Levine

Majestik
World Traveler
Premium
join:2001-05-11
Tulsa, OK

Re: Jedi mind tricks?

You left out.......
AT&T: "We will pay you dividends"
Shareholders: "Thank you"
AT&T: Subscribers, you will pay us monthly.
--
The adventure continues...Sanctuary....

ThatGuy

@dtvbb.net

I hope every shareholder dropps their investment

Really, none of their concern!!! Apparently, the execs over at ATT think that they are privately owned and not publicly traded. The SEC should investigate this. Every shareholder has a right to know what is happening with their investment and the quite ballsy response from ATT's execs, need to be hit low where it hurts, and have every investment pulled. I don't get why they think they can getaway with treating shareholders like this.
Expand your moderator at work

vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA

1 recommendation

Re: I hope every shareholder dropps their investment

There's really nothing for the SEC to investigate. Companies are required to file quarterly shareholder reports with specific information on them; they're not required to give investors any additional details. I do hope the shareholders vote in a board more sympathetic their request (which would put pressure on management to actually give more info), but I'm not sure that there are enough shareholders interested in this to make that happen.
tanzam75

join:2012-07-19

Re: I hope every shareholder dropps their investment

Yes, that's the proper method for affecting corporate behavior. Vote in your own slate of directors, and then they can change the company's policies.

Imagine an NFL team owner who told his head coach what to do during a game. That's micromanagement. A coach cannot operate if he is not given the freedom to make his own decisions.

In contrast, if the NFL team owner decides to fire the coach, then that's a different matter entirely. He's the owner, so he gets to decide who should be head coach.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
said by ThatGuy :

I don't get why they think they can getaway with treating shareholders like this.

We elect a board to operate the company on our behalf. T isn't treating shareholders any differently than it does with any other business operations.

Jcink

join:2005-12-19
none

Screw the shareholders too?

Wow. Things are bad when even the share holders are being told to screw off.

I would love to see all the shareholders sell.

DividendLove

@comcast.net

Re: Screw the shareholders too?

said by Jcink:

Wow. Things are bad when even the share holders are being told to screw off.

I would love to see all the shareholders sell.

ATT shares are so widely held that no one group or groups has the power to force ATT to change individual policies. And, besides, very few shareholders care about this issue. Most, like me, only care about the dividend and the share price. And the share price of ATT is tied more to overall economy than it is to any one decision made by the company.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Screw the shareholders too?

Right and when you have a mass sell of stocks- the company goes bankrupt. T would just seek a bailout as the public depends on them more than GM or any other automaker.

vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA

2 recommendations

Re: Screw the shareholders too?

A stock selloff doesn't make a company bankrupt. As long as they're making a profit (and their cash position is OK), they'd be solvent, even if the stocks are worthless. Certainly they have an interest in keeping the stock prices up, since most senior management also have stock holdings in the company, but stock prices don't directly affect a company's operations.

Sarick
It's Only Logical
Premium
join:2003-06-03
USA
It would open them up for a a takeover if the sold stocks exceed 51% of an entity or like minded group.
--
Sarick's Dungeon Clipart

Majestik
World Traveler
Premium
join:2001-05-11
Tulsa, OK

1 edit
Indeed.
I don't care about it. Not letting go of my shares. They pay great dividends. I'm averaging around $300/ mo. in reinvested dividends.
AT&T stock is in many mutual funds including my ETF.
And I'm still enjoying the $30/ mo. grandfathered unlimited data iPad 4 and unlimited iPhone 5.
--
The adventure continues...Sanctuary....
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
Absolutely. Until the fed stops crushing bond, investors aren't leaving strong, utility-like companies that continue hiking dividends that far outpace treasury yields. This doesn't move the needle for AT&T.

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

Extra-ordinary

It's extra-ordinary and they do not want people to know the extent of the surveillance.
NSA employees working at the att offices, management forced to keep quiet or else they lose their job and go to jail.

It's not just from the FISA, they've been "Hoovering" up Americans private calls since the phone was first developed and they haven't stopped.
--
Let them eat FIBER!
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Extra-ordinary

It isn't materially affecting business or investors so it's not extraordinary.
NefCanuck

join:2007-06-26
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms

AT&T's response

Wow, this is chutzpah of the highest level by AT&T execs "ordinary business transactions" my arse...

But unless a majority of the stockholders are willing to press the issue, nothing will happen and nothing will change (and I'm willing to bet a week's pay that says enough stock is held by people/institutions that the "Jedi Mind Trick" described upthread would work on them in getting this issue to go away)

NefCanuck
tanzam75

join:2012-07-19

1 edit

Re: AT&T's response

said by NefCanuck:

Wow, this is chutzpah of the highest level by AT&T execs "ordinary business transactions" my arse...

Why don't you read the actual letter they sent the SEC? They cite a number of precedents in previous SEC decisions.

In corporation law, management is given broad latitude to manage the company. If the shareholders want to change things, they have the right to replace the directors, who can then replace the management.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

1 recommendation

Sad

I scroll all the way to the last comment and nobody points out that this is likely just code words for "we're making lots of under the table money with this" speak.

This is all top secret doings. They don't have to report it in a way that is visible, or at all even and it's money given to them by the US government, every corporations favorite flavor of money.

Do you think shareholders give a crap about anything that is making them money? Profits up, anything else be damned.. anything including all the lives lost making AT&T more money.
--
Say no to astroturfing. go to their profile, start ignoring posts and ignoring what's not true.
pkorx8

join:2003-06-19
San Francisco, CA

1 edit

Bingo

The light bulb finally lights up!!!

Shareholders are actually owners of the cooperation, the evil evil cooperations, and they can and do vote with their wallets.

However even with these damning revelations, I'm willing to bet there won't be a mass exodus or sell off, because as a shareholder, there is money and dividend to be made.

If the sheeples* hold stocks in these cooperations, they ARE condoning to their behaviors. (*I'm talking about the people who own ATT stocks, AND then complain about ATT's practices....)
Also, do people know what their 401K's, mutual funds, ETF's are holding? I'm not sure, but I think there are big institutional shareholders in ATT.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Bingo

No, this just goes to show that very few stockholders own a company and even fewer to a say so in how it is operated.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Bingo

said by Skippy25:

No, this just goes to show that very few stockholders own a company

AT&T has almost 5.3 billions shares outstanding with only ~62% held by institutions. That leaves ~2 billion shares for the rest of us. Every shareholder has a vote to elect a board to operate the business.

nonamesleft

join:2011-11-07
Manitowoc, WI
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Callcentric

Now its a concern?

Where were they when they were telling the government how to break the law during the bush administration? That harmed my trust back on that one. Not to mention obnoxious rate increases for bare minimum service like local calling and caller id, that should be well over 30 bucks. Break the telco money up again.