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AT&T moves to settle dispute with the SEC for $6 million

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a court document accusing AT&T Inc. of selectively disclosing financial data to Wall Street analysts. AT&T Inc. has agreed to pay a $6.25 million fine as part of the settlement.

Christopher Womack, Kent Evans, and Michael Black, three firm officials whom the SEC claimed were responsible for breaking Regulation FD, or fair disclosure, also agreed to each pay a $25,000 fine without acknowledging or disputing the regulator’s claims, the document said.
A Reuters request for comment made outside of business hours did not immediately receive a response from AT&T.

The SEC charged Dallas-based AT&T and three investor relations executives in a March 2021 complaint with disclosing information about its smartphone business to 20 companies.

According to the SEC, the company broke the fair disclosure rule, which was introduced in 2000 and prohibits businesses from providing significant non-public information to third parties, levelling the playing field for investors.

The SEC said that AT&T tried to “manage” those analysts to lower their revenue projections for actual outcomes to match the lower projections and avoid disappointing investors who may otherwise drive down the share price of the company.