Business: Wisconsin Dividends

Fortnight ago the Public Service Commission of progressive Wisconsin jolted the utility industry by ordering Wisconsin Telephone Co., 100%-owned by A. T. & T., to reduce its rates 12½%. Behind the order was a theory new in rate-fixing: that a utility may charge for its services only what they are worth to the user regardless of the effect upon the company; Depression has reduced the value of telephone service. Under the new rates Wisconsin Telephone would earn not the time-honored return of 8% upon its investment but 6%.

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