Blumenthal has new probe for AT&T

By John O'Brien | Jun 22, 2009


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's latest effort against AT&T has him investigating $145 million he said was funneled out of his state to avoid paying taxes on it.

Blumenthal said last week that one of the company's auditors, Ernst & Young, discovered that Connecticut customers were charged nearly $145 million for the use of the company's logo in the state, then moved that amount to a Nevada outlet.

Blumenthal has long been on AT&T's case, recently demanding the state's Department of Public Utility Control penalize it $920,000 for failing to meet phone repair standards.

"AT&T's logo does nothing for consumers who simply want good service and jobs maintained," Blumenthl said.

"AT&T must be held accoutable for every tax-free dollar... questionably siphoned away from AT&T consumers in Connecticut."

The DPUC recently found that AT&T has failed to repair 90 percent of out-of-service phones within 24 hours since 2001, yet decided against a punishment because it concluded that standard was outdated. Blumenthal called the decision illogical and inexplicable.

Blumenthal has railed against AT&T's decision to move many of its customer service jobs to Michigan. In 2007, the two fought over AT&T's Internet television service that it operated without a cable license.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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