Equifax Inc., under pressure from a consumer data breach, excluded members of the media from its annual shareholders meeting in Atlanta on Thursday, reports Eric Mandel of the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Mandel writes, “Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Maria Saporta attempted to attend the credit reporting company’s 2018 meeting but was told by an Equifax spokesperson that the press could not attend unless they owned shares of the company. Saporta has attended more than 15 of Equifax’s annual meetings as a member of the press.
“Feeling more national media scrutiny than usual, Equifax decided to more strictly adhere to its policies regarding the press at this year’s meeting. A spokesperson told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that, ‘Our bylaws state that only shareholders of record can attend the annual meeting, and the admissions procedures and other details are set forth in the proxy statement. In order to attend, an individual must provide proof of share ownership on such date.’
“Only a small number of Atlanta-based public companies, such as Intercontinental Exchange Inc., have had similar policies excluding the media from shareholders’ meetings, Saporta said.”
Read more here. Many business media organizations purchase one share of a company’s stock to allow it to attend an annual meeting. Most companies allow reporters to attend annual meetings as a courtesy.