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Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Four pharmaceutical companies — Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck and Abbott Laboratories — collectively kept $7 billion in tax savings in 2018 due to Republicans' 2017 corporate tax overhaul, according to a new Oxfam report.

The bottom line: Oxfam's results mirror our reporting, which shows pharmaceutical companies in particular have benefited from bringing back billions of dollars in overseas profits that have sat untaxed. However, this report says the tax savings have not led to other social goods, like more research investment in new drugs or lower drug prices.

By the numbers: The 4 companies highlighted by Oxfam mostly benefited from the repatriation of overseas cash.

  • $5.3 billion of the $7 billion of tax savings in 2018 came from bringing home untaxed offshore cash.

The big picture: "These are all policy choices," Niko Lusiani, a senior adviser at Oxfam, who wrote the report, said of the tax law and its effects. "And we haven't seen any big changes" in pharmaceutical industry behavior.

  • Oxfam focused on just 4 drug companies because they are large, representative and U.S.-based, Lusiani said.
  • Oxfam may take a deeper look at the pharmaceutical sector, but the group wanted to evaluate the short-term effect of the corporate tax overhaul and specifically whether drug companies were living up to their promises that the law would boost jobs, assets and productivity in the U.S.

Go deeper: Read Oxfam's report.

Go deeper

Ubisoft workers demand company accountability in open letter

Photo: Frederic Brown / Getty Images

Close to 500 current and former employees of “Assassin’s Creed” publisher Ubisoft are standing in solidarity with protesting game developers at Activision Blizzard with a letter that criticizes their company's handling of sexual misconduct.

Why it matters: Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard workers are framing the actions as part of a bigger movement meant to have lasting change in the industry and its culture.

Companies deploy tech to prevent retail crime

Customers in a Home Depot in Pleasanton, California, in February 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Retailers have a new edge for fighting theft: They're using technology to disable stolen goods — from iPhones to Black & Decker drills — and render them useless.

Why it matters: Organized retail crime has a considerable affect on retailers every year, costing them an average of $719,000 per $1 billion dollars in sales, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
35 mins ago - Podcasts

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek does a podcast on the future of podcasts

Spotify on Wednesday reported significant ad revenue growth from its podcast business, as part of its quarterly earnings disclosure.

Take a listen: Company founder and CEO Daniel Ek appeared on the Axios Re:Cap podcast to discuss how the podcast business model is changing, why he's spending big on exclusive shows and his personal favorites in both podcasting and music.