Business Briefs – June 11, 2019

Tech on Trial: House Panel Begins Review of Market Power

WASHINGTON (AP) – 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.

Wholesale Prices Blip Up 0.1% in May

WASHINGTON (AP) – 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.

USDA: Weather Delay Cuts Corn Crop to Smallest in 4 Years

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – 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.

Facebook Invests in Renewables With Texas Solar Project

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – 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.

Boeing Airliner Deliveries Tumble Amid Problems With 737 Max

CHICAGO (AP) – 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.

$1.6B Pipeline Proposed to Move North Dakota Crude Oil

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Two companies are proposing a $1.6 billion pipeline to move North Dakota crude oil, making it the biggest such project in the state since the Dakota Access pipeline that sparked violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement in 2016 and 2017.

Houston-based Phillips 66 and Casper, Wyoming-based Bridger Pipeline announced the joint venture called Liberty Pipeline on Monday. It’s designed to move 350,000 barrels of oil daily from western North Dakota’s oil patch to the nation’s biggest storage terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma. From there, the companies said shippers can access multiple Gulf Coast destinations.