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Cofounders of Wayfair donate $10 million to Cornell

Wayfair cofounders Steve Conine (left) and Niraj Shah.Suzanne Kreiter


Cofounders of Wayfair donate $10 million to Cornell

Wayfair cofounders Steve Conine and Niraj Shah are donating a combined $10 million to their alma mater, Cornell University, to help build a new home for the Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science on the campus of the New York school. Plans for the building were announced last December, along with the gift from alumna Ann S. Bowers, whose career in tech included tenures at Intel and Apple, to establish the college. Shah and Conine graduated from Cornell in 1995 with engineering degrees, but they caught the startup bug at an entrepreneurship course they took their senior year. They launched online retailer CSN Stores in Boston in 2002, and later rebranded it as Wayfair. They first met more than 30 years ago, during a six-week Cornell summer program for high school students, and ended up in the same dorm as first-year engineering students. — JON CHESTO



Wellesley company signs deal for renewable natural gas

Vanguard Renewables announced a partnership with pipeline operator Enbridge to purchase at least 2 billion cubic feet of renewable natural gas annually from Vanguard-run anaerobic digesters on farms. That’s roughly enough gas to heat more than 32,000 homes. Wellesley-based Vanguard plans to invest $200 million to build digesters and expand its existing portfolio. Enbridge, meanwhile, will spend about $100 million to upgrade its equipment so it can convert gas from farms into “pipeline quality” natural gas. The renewable natural gas, derived from food and farm waste, will replace a portion of the traditional natural gas in Enbridge’s pipeline system. Gas customers can buy the renewable natural gas via energy credits as a way to reduce their carbon footprints. — JON CHESTO


Cotton prices soar, making jeans more expensive

Cotton futures raced past $1 a pound for the first time in nearly a decade as adverse weather and shipping snags threaten supplies, driving up costs for apparel makers such as Levi Strauss & Co. In New York, the contract for December delivery climbed to $1.005 a pound, the highest since November 2011. The price has surged 28 percent this year as torrid demand, especially from China, combines with disruptions to supplies from the pandemic and logistics chaos spurred by rising freight costs. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Google says it’s the most searched term on rival’s search engine

Google is so successful that it’s the most searched for term on Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search engine, the company’s lawyer told a European Union court on Tuesday. “We have submitted evidence showing that the most common search query on Bing is by far Google,” Alfonso Lamadrid, a lawyer for the Alphabet Inc. unit, said at the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg. The tech giant has asked EU judges to overturn a record $5 billion fine and strike down a 2018 antitrust order that said Google unfairly pushed its search app on mobile phones running its Android software. The European Commission alleged that Google made a strategic decision to squeeze out potential rivals and build near-monopoly market shares. Google argued that conclusion is unfair. “People use Google because they choose to, not because they are forced to,” Lamadrid said. “Google’s market share in general search is consistent with consumer surveys showing that 95 percent of users prefer Google to rival search engines.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Shopping binge causing emissions to rise

The pandemic-driven shopping spree is having at least one unintended consequence: emissions from shipping are on the rise again. Bored at home, consumers ordered everything from washing machines to Peloton exercise bikes, fueling a global trade in goods and boosting demand for ships to deliver them. With so many orders on the books, the container fleet is speeding up at sea, burning more fuel, according to Cargill Inc., the world’s top agriculture trader. The increase in shipping emissions comes just as the world faces a natural gas shortage that’s forcing electricity producers around the world to use more dirty coal and even fuel oil. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Men over 45 most likely to ‘freak out’ over a market downturn, study finds

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are diving into the demographics of people that panic sell stocks during a market crash. Investors who are male, over the age of 45, married, or consider themselves as having “excellent investment experience” are more likely to “freak out” and dump their portfolio during a downturn, according to a paper published last month that analyzed more than 600,000 brokerage accounts. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


House prices in July highest in two decades

US home prices soared in July by a record amount from a year earlier as buyers desperate for homes bid up prices amid a limited supply. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index surged 19.9 percent in July compared with a year ago, the largest gain on records dating back to 2000. In 17 of the 20 cities, prices rose more quickly in July than in June. And prices reached all-time highs in 19 of 20 cities. The one exception was Chicago, where prices are just 0.3 percent below their 2006 peak. Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle reported the biggest price increases, with Phoenix leading the nation for the 26th straight month. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Chase invests more than $60m in banks with diverse leaders

JPMorgan Chase invested in 10 banks with diverse leadership, acquiring stakes with a total value of more than $60 million, and is giving their customers free access to thousands of ATMs as part of its effort to help address the racial wealth gap. The “investments and commitments” JPMorgan has made in minority deposit institutions, known as MDIs, and community development financial institutions this year now stands at more than $100 million, according to a statement Tuesday from the New York-based firm. The biggest US bank had announced in February that it invested $40 million in four firms. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Checkout line terminals to begin accepting bitcoin and crypto currencies later this year

How about paying for your Taco Bell order with Dogecoin? Or some of Whole Food’s avocado ice cream with bitcoin? That’s the goal of a new partnership between crypto payment processor BitPay and Verifone, one of the world’s largest providers of those little machines you use to pay via a credit card or Venmo at a checkout line. Later this year, the newest Verifone terminals will start accepting payments for US merchants from a range of cryptocurrency wallets and tokens, the companies said in a statement Tuesday. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Lego has a banner year, with kids stuck indoors playing

Lego’s first half-profit more than doubled as consumers turned to its well-known building blocks to entertain stuck-at-home children. Net income rose 140 percent to 6.3 billion kroner ($990 million), the toymaker, which is based in western Denmark, said on Wednesday. Revenue at the closely held company advanced 46 percent. The company, which is controlled by the family of billionaire Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, said top selling products included its classic Lego City series as well as boxes with themes based on the Star Wars and Harry Potter movies. — BLOOMBERG NEWS