AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said he was optimistic about
the future of tax and investment in the US after meeting
President Donald Trump earlier this month.
Stephenson claimed he did not discuss the telco
giant’s proposed $85 billion takeover of Time
Warner, something Trump said he opposed during the presidential
campaign, but said the President had expressed a "specific
agenda" for tax and regulatory reform.
"I was meeting with a CEO. It was obvious," Stephenson said
on a conference call to discuss AT&T's fourth quarter
"I would tell you that the man, the president, is focused on
these. I left with a degree of optimism that this could
actually be pulled off this year."
Stephenson was speaking as AT&T posted a slight dip in
revenue, from $42.1 billion in Q4 2015 to $41.8 billion. Net
income fell from $4.01 billion to $2.44 billion.
The CEO also expressed optimism about Trump’s
selection of Ajit Pai as the new chair of regulator the
Federal Communications Commission.
Trump appointed Pai, a critic of the
regulator’s stance on net neutrality, earlier this
week, replacing Obama-appointee Tom Wheeler, who stepped
AT&T has been locked in a legal dispute with the FCC
over its net neutrality rules, launched in February 2015, and
has fallen foul of the regulations on a number of occasions.
Earlier this month, the regulator accused
AT&T’s DirecTV package of violating zero
Stephenson added: "We're optimistic about what a Chairman Pai
would bring to the industry. You should expect to see us go
hard. We are having some really good success in the
marketplace with it]."