AT&T CEO: Hiring Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for $600,000 was “a big mistake”

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal ...

AT&T’s chief executive said Friday that the company made a “serious misjudgment” to seek advice from President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and announced that its top lobbying executive in Washington would be leaving the firm.

“There is no other way to say it – AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake,” AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson wrote in a companywide internal email.

The email comes after revelations that AT&T agreed to pay $600,000 to Cohen last year in exchange for advice on how to approach the Trump administration. Internal AT&T documents, obtained by The Washington Post on Thursday, outlined how Cohen was expected to provide guidance on matters facing the company at the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, specifically mentioning AT&T’s $85 billion Time Warner merger.

The departing executive, Bob Quinn, who is AT&T’s senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Quinn, who has been in his position since 2016, originally started with the Bell system as an operator for Illinois Bell in 1980, before AT&T was broken up by the Justice Department in a landmark antitrust action four years later.

Mary Altaffer, The Associated PressMichael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, arrives at federal court, Monday, April 16, 2018, in New York. A U.S. judge will hear more arguments about Trump’s extraordinary request that he be allowed to review records seized from Cohen’s office as part of a criminal investigation before they are examined by prosecutors.

Three days after Trump was sworn into office, the telecom giant turned to Cohen for help on a wide portfolio of issues pending before the federal government – including the Time Warner merger, according to documents The Post obtained. Trump had voiced opposition to the merger during the presidential campaign, …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

No security: Symantec shares plunge 33 percent on disclosure of internal investigation

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Security software leader Symantec sunk like a stone Friday, as the company’s shares plunged more than 33 percent after the company disclosed its audit committee is running an internal investigation based on concerns raised by a former company employee.

Symantec divulged few details about the investigation, aside from that the issue “does not relate to any security concern or breach with respect to our products or systems.” Symantec also said it has notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about the internal investigation and it will let the SEC know of any new details it uncovers during its investigation.

On a conference call Thursday, Symantec officials didn’t take any questions from Wall Street analysts, and kept their comments only to a set of prepared remarks about its investigation and fiscal fourth-quarter results.

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“The circumstances here are unusual, concerning, and we therefore believe investors should be mindful of downside scenarios,” said Credit Suisse analyst Brad Zelnick, in a research note about Symantec’s investigation and quarterly results.

As trading progressed Friday, Symantec’s shares had fallen to $19.50 after closing Thursday at $29.18.

In addition to making the internal investigation public, Symantec said it expects revenue for its fiscal first quarter to be between $1.135 billion and $1.165 billion, the midpoint of which would be flat with Symantec’s sales in the same period a year ago.

The investigation and disappointing forecast wiped out any enthusiasm Symantec might have hoped to see from investors about its fourth-quarter results. Symantec reported a profit of 46 cents a share, excluding one-time items, on revenue of $1.22 billion, compared to a profit of 28 cents a share, on sales $1.12 billion during the same period a year ago. Wall Street analysts …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

Facebooks reportedly plans to launch its own cryptocurrency

Facebook is reportedly planning to launch its own cryptocurrency, according to a report from Cheddar’s Alex Heath.

Currently, there isn’t too much detail, but the company is said to be specifically focused on using cryptocurrency specifically for facilitating payments on the platform, something that could be a pretty dramatic shift given Facebook’s huge user base and existing marketplace section of the site for buying and selling goods. The company is also said to be investigating other ways to leverage the tokenized digital currency and its underlying blockchain technology across its platform, too.

The cryptocurrency efforts are said to be led by David Marcus, who earlier this week was reported to be leading a new blockchain division…

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Source:: The Verge – All Posts