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States sue to stop $26.5 billion Sprint-T-Mobile deal

NEW YORK — A group of state attorneys general led by New York and California are seeking to block T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion bid for Sprint. They say the merger would hurt competition and drive up prices for cellphone service. They filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday in an unusual step ahead of a decision by federal antitrust authorities. T-Mobile and Sprint have argued that they need to bulk up to upgrade to a fast, powerful “5G” mobile network that competes with Verizon and AT&T.

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Tech on trial: House panel begins review of market power

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee is launching its investigation into the market dominance of Silicon Valley’s biggest names, including Facebook, Google and Amazon. The hearing Tuesday will look at the tech giants’ impact on news outlets and local advertisers. Some lawmakers warn that the technology companies have become monopolies, and several Democratic presidential candidates say they should be broken up on antitrust grounds.

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Wholesale prices blip up 0.1% in May

WASHINGTON — U.S. wholesale prices rose just 0.1% in May month, another sign that inflationary pressures are under control. The Labor Department says the increase last month in its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, was half April’s 0.2% increase.

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New Jersey mandates panic buttons for hotel room cleaners

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a law requiring most of the state’s hotels to provide their workers with wearable panic buttons they can press to quickly summon help in an emergency. The Democratic governor and several nationwide unions say New Jersey is the first state to mandate the devices, although at least two others are considering similar measures. The law, which takes effect in January, applies to hotels with 100 or more rooms.

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USDA: Weather delay cuts corn crop to smallest in 4 years

DES MOINES, Iowa — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has lowered its estimate of this year’s corn crop to the lowest in four years, saying wet weather has delayed planting and reduced acres planted and the expected per-acre yield. Production was cut in a monthly report released Tuesday by 1.4 billion bushels to 13.7 billion bushels, the lowest since 2015.

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Facebook invests in renewables with Texas solar project

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Facebook is making its first direct investment in renewable energy with a solar project in West Texas. A research analyst for a renewable energy consulting firm says the move makes sense because renewable energy is becoming more affordable and Facebook’s data centers have huge operating costs. Shell Energy North America and Facebook will share the power generated by the solar farm just north of Odessa, Texas.

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How do you teach kids about texting? Bring in the teenagers

ESSEN, Germany — In Germany, many schools are having teenagers teach younger school mates how to cope with the stresses and pitfalls of social media. In the peer-to-peer tutoring program, the teenagers go over issues like how to deal with a huge number of messages and how to handle online bullying. Teenagers often have the skills and first-hand experience that teachers and other adults don’t.

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Boeing airliner deliveries tumble amid problems with 737 Max

CHICAGO — Deliveries of new Boeing jets fell by more than half last month, compared with a year ago, as its top-selling plane remains grounded. The company delivered only 30 airliners last month. Boeing is still making 737 Max jets, but it stopped delivering them after the plane was grounded around the world following two deadly crashes.

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Facebook launching app that pays users for data on app usage

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook is launching an app that will pay users to share information with the social media giant about which apps they’re using. The company previously rolled out two similar apps. But both were shut down after drawing criticism for infringing on privacy, and one was cited for violating Apple’s App Store terms of agreement. Facebook says the new app, called Study, is different than the previous apps. And it is only available on the Google Play Store.

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Stocks fizzle after early gains, suffer 1st loss in 6 days

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks gave up early gains and fizzled in afternoon trading after technology and industrial companies headed lower. The market is trying to extend a five-day winning streak that has so far helped recoup much of May’s sharp losses. A slide in industrial stocks, particularly defense contractors, helped trim early gains. Technology companies also turned lower. Internet companies and consumer-related stocks balanced the market with gains.

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The S&P 500 slipped 1.01 point, or 0.03%, to 2,885.72. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 14.17 points, or 0.1%, to 26,048.51. The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.60 of a point to end at 7,822.57. The Russell 2000 index of small companies fell 4.45 points, or 0.3%, to 1,519.11.

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