6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Toys “R” Us will close a number of its stores in the wake of the holiday season. According to Reuters:

 Toys “R” Us Inc said on Tuesday it will shut about one-fifth of its stores in the United States in the coming months, as the toy store chain tries to emerge from one of the largest ever bankruptcies by a specialty retailer.

The closure of about 180 U.S. stores will begin in early February and continue until mid-April, Chief Executive David Brandon said in a letter on its website.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) will pay bonuses to a huge number of its workers. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Walt Disney Co. is the latest major company to give its employees $1,000 bonuses following the federal cut in corporate taxes.

The entertainment giant said Tuesday that it will give the bonuses to nearly all of its non-executive employees in the U.S., more than 125,000 people.

In addition, the company is making an initial $50 million investment into a tuition reimbursement program for about 88,000 hourly employees and will invest up to $25 million annually in the future.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) said it pays women nearly as much as men. According to a story in The Wall Street Journal:

Some of the biggest U.S. banks are taking a hard look at how they pay women and minorities – and they say they’re doing pretty well.

Bank of America recently reviewed pay for U.S. and U.K. staff and found that women are paid on average 99% of what men are paid, according to an internal memo sent Tuesday from Sheri Bronstein, global human resources executive at the lender, and viewed by the Wall Street Journal. The bank also found that minorities are paid on average 99% of what non-minorities are paid.

The Weinstein Company may be sold soon. The firm was badly crippled by sexual harassment claims about founder Harvey Weinstein. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal:

Weinstein Co.’s owners have entered exclusive negotiations to sell the embattled studio to a group led by businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet for a little more than $500 million, people close to the talks said.

The owners of the studio behind “The King’s Speech” and “Django Unchained” have agreed to a two-week exclusivity period through the end of next week with Ms. Contreras-Sweet’s team, two of the people said.

The AAA reports that Americans are open to the use of self-driving cars. The organization said:

American drivers are beginning to embrace self-driving vehicles, according to a new study from AAA. The annual survey reveals that 63 percent of U.S. drivers report feeling afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, a significant decrease from 78 percent in early 2017. Millennial and male drivers are the most trusting of autonomous technologies, with only half reporting they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car. To ensure that American drivers continue to be informed, prepared and comfortable with this shift in mobility, AAA urges automakers to prioritize consumer education.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is pressing Congress to pass net neutrality legislation. According the CNNMoney:

AT&T is calling on Congress to settle the internet freedom debate by passing a federal net neutrality law.

In a full-page ad appearing in multiple U.S. newspapers on Wednesday, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said his company has suffered from regulatory whiplash. Various presidential administrations and government agencies have pursued wildly differing internet policies over the past decade.