FedEx CEO challenges NYT publisher to public debate after tax story

(Reuters) - FedEx Corp FDX.N Chief Executive Frederick Smith has challenged the publisher of the New York Times & Co NYT.N and the editor of the business section of the newspaper to a public debate in response to a story about the company's tax bill.

The package delivery firm’s financial filings showed it owed no taxes in the 2018 fiscal year overall due to President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul, according to the NYT story published on Sunday.

Smith late on Sunday called the story here "distorted and factually incorrect" and challenged NYT's publisher A.G. Sulzberger and the business section editor to a public debate in Washington.

“FedEx’s colorful response does not challenge a single fact in our story. We’re confident in the accuracy of our reporting,” Danielle Rhoades Ha, VP-communications at NYT, said in an email on Monday.

“FedEx’s invitation is clearly a stunt and an effort to distract from the findings of our story.”

Smith, in his statement here, said the focus of the debate should be the federal tax policy and the relative societal benefits of business investments along with intended benefits to the economy.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila