AT&T Commits to Lobbying Transparency

US telecoms provider AT&T has committed to greater transparency of its political activities as part of a shareholder resolution withdrawal agreement with non-profit As You Sow (AYS). Under the agreement, AT&T will disclose information to investors on how it is managing its political engagement and monitoring activity on other issues on which it doesn’t engage politically. These metrics will convey the extent to which AT&T’s political contributions align with the company’s stated political engagement priorities, as well as priorities identified in the company’s annual sustainability summary. “This agreement assures that AT&T will provide shareholders with increased transparency on political spending,” said AYS’ CEO Andrew Behar. “It is important that shareholders see the congruence between corporate goals and how capital is spent. Political spending should be no different than any capital expenditure, an ROI is critical to see if the expenditure resulted in impact aligned with corporate priorities.” AT&T states its priorities and goals in its Political Engagement Report and annual Sustainability Summary. According to AT&T, issues important to customers and employees shape its priorities, including expanding access for underserved and remote communities, using technology to help find climate solutions, and opportunities for meaningful employment.

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