Talking Points

TALKING POINTS

New Hampshire company fined for not paying prevailing wages on public projects in Mass.

LABOR

New Hampshire company fined
for not paying prevailing wages on public projects in Mass.

A New Hampshire-based construction company is facing $160,000 in restitution and penalties after failing to adequately pay employees on a series of public works projects, according to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office. Northeast Partition Specialties Inc. was investigated after the Fair Labor Division received a complaint from a former employee alleging he was not paid the prevailing wage rate on two public projects. The subsequent investigation revealed that employees were not properly compensated for work on the Staff Sergeant James J. Hill School in Revere; the Bresnahan Elementary School in Newburyport; the Acushnet police facility; the Chelmsford Fire Department; Dracut Town Hall; the Sudbury Police Department; Park Avenue Elementary in Webster; West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School; and the Westborough Fire Department. Northeast has fully cooperated with the AG’s office and to date has paid $115,403.97 in restitution to the employees. — NATASHA MASCARENHAS

FANTASY SPORTS

DraftKings and FanDuel ask court not to block their planned merger

Daily fantasy sports industry leaders DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. on Wednesday asked a federal court not to stand in the way of their proposed merger, arguing that US antitrust regulators had misjudged the nature of the emerging business in trying to block the deal. In separate filings in US District Court in Washington, the companies assailed the Federal Trade Commission’s June move to block the merger between Boston-based DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel. The decision reflected “an unnecessarily rigid and uninformed application of the antitrust laws to an underdeveloped, nascent industry,” the DraftKings filing said. The filings were in opposition to an injunction that would hold up the deal pending further litigation. The regulators have argued that the combined company would hurt competition because it would control more than 90 percent of the multibillion-dollar US market for paid daily fantasy contests. The companies, which offer prize money to paying participants in games based on the performance of real-life athletes, say they compete more broadly with seasonlong fantasy sports providers. The filings on Wednesday keep the legal options open for both companies as they weigh whether to fight on in what could be a difficult and expensive legal battle or go their separate ways. “We are working as quickly as possible to determine the best course of action in the interest of our customers, employees, and investors,” DraftKings said in a statement issued Wednesday by a company spokeswoman. — ANDY ROSEN

DEVELOPMENT

Legislative committee recommends approval of change in shadow law

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The bill to change laws restricting shadows on the Boston Common and Public Garden cleared a key hurdle on Beacon Hill Wednesday when the legislative committee considering the measure voted to recommend approval. That clears the way for votes in the full state House and Senate on the measure, which would enable Millennium Partners to build a 775-foot skyscraper on the site of the Winthrop Square Garage. As part of the deal, Millennium will pay up to $153 million to the city of Boston for the shuttered garage. The vote comes a day after Secretary of State Bill Galvin urged more study of the impacts of new shadows from the tower, and after months of debate in Boston. Millennium is urging lawmakers to pass the bill this month so it can launch permitting on the long-delayed tower.
— TIM LOGAN

AIR TRAVEL

Trump administration wants all
US citizens
flying abroad to have facial scans at airport

If the Trump administration gets its way, all US citizens flying abroad will have to submit to face scans at airport security. Privacy advocates call the plan an ill-advised step toward a surveillance state. Nonimmigrant foreigners entering the US currently must submit to fingerprint and photo collection. Congress long ago agreed to extending that to face scans on departure — mostly to keep better track of visa overstays. Now, the Department of Homeland Security says US citizens must also be scanned for the program to work. Pilots are underway at six US airports. DHS aims to have high-volume US international airports engaged beginning next year. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

TECHNOLOGY

Visa wants to help small businesses go cashless

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Visa is looking to push more small businesses into updating their digital payment technology, offering up to $10,000 each to 50 US-based small business owners that are committed to going cashless. The program will focus on restaurants and food establishments, Visa said Wednesday, with the expectation that Visa will expand the program in the coming months and years to other industries and possibly other countries as well. Despite the proliferation of credit and debt cards, and the advent of technologies like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, cash remains a significant method of payment in many industries across the United States and around the world. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

TRANSPORTATION

Plan for high-speed railroad tracks along Northeast Corridor reconsidered

The federal government is rethinking a plan to build new high-speed railroad tracks through parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island after complaints that the project would devastate neighborhoods, marshlands, and tourist attractions. The Federal Railroad Administration dropped the proposal from the latest version of a $120 billion to $150 billion master plan being released Wednesday to rebuild the congested Northeast Corridor over the next 30 years. Instead, the agency said it would continue studying options for adding track capacity in the 100-mile stretch from New Haven to Providence, and seek input from residents and officials in both states. The agency said construction can’t begin without the agreement of state leaders. The master plan calls for enhancing capacity, performance, and reliability on the Northeast Corridor through updated infrastructure, more trains, and new tracks that would allow speeds of up to 220 miles per hour. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

ENERGY

Oil found in the Gulf of Mexico

A consortium of Mexican and foreign private companies says a well drilled in shallow water has found between 1.4 and 2 billion barrels of crude oil equivalent in the Gulf of Mexico. Houston-based Talos Energy LLC says it has a 35 percent interest, along with Sierra Oil and Gas and Premier Oil PLC. Talos said in a statement Wednesday the well started at a depth of 545 feet below the Gulf surface and reached a depth of 11,100 feet underground. It’s one of the largest discoveries made in shallow water by a private firm in Mexico, where private drilling under a concessionary scheme was approved as part of the country’s 2013 oil reforms. Previously, the state-run oil company had found many shallow-water fields in the Gulf. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

GOVERNMENT

Nominee
for FDIC chairman withdraws

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President Trump’s nominee to be chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has withdrawn his name from consideration, citing family obligations, a person familiar with his decision said Wednesday. James Clinger, the former chief counsel of the House Financial Services Committee, was chosen last month to replace Martin Gruenberg as head of the agency. Clinger’s withdrawal marks a setback for the Trump administration, which on Monday made its last pick for a top bank regulation post when Randal Quarles was named as the choice to be the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman for supervision.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS

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