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Sounds like someone is trying to pre-emptively address the criticism which will result when Wal-Mart drives the small businesses in the area out.

Hard not to be suspicious; I can't imagine them making a decision that goes so against their economic interest. There has to be an angle.

Jonathan Potts

I'm suspicious as well only because Wal-Mart has, I believe, benefited from millions of dollars in tax subsidies nationwide. But I don't blame Wal-Mart for playing the game that all other retailers are willing to play. Instead I blame the local and state governments who give away the money.

Sam M

Let me be clear: I have no doubt that Wal-Mart views this in a claculated way. The company is eager to score PR wins. And a few million here and there is nothing to them. Getting the editorial board of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the company's side would have cost them something. And this seemed like an easy way to do it. And probably a cheap one.

But all companies like good PR. The question I have is what PNC could "win" by giving the money back. Can you imagine the Post-Gazette? It would be front page news for days. And it would monopolize the editorial page for weeks. And $50 million? Sheesh. If PNC, collectively, dropped $50 million in the street, I wonder whether it would bother to bend over to pick it up. The company scored $2.6 billion in PROFITS last year.

The big question is whether the Trib shame campaign makes the company more or less likely to even consider it.

Either way, it's fun to watch.

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