Merging Beth Israel, Lahey would sharply drive up health care costs, watchdog says

The consolidation would boost medical spending by as much as $191.3 million a year for inpatient, outpatient, and primary care services.

Ye Qing Wei, a housekeeper at Sheraton Boston, has seen her schedule disrupted by green programs that encourage people to opt out of housekeeping service in exchange for points and meal coupons.

Going green is cutting into hotel housekeepers’ livelihoods

Programs that encourage guests to skip housekeeping, and save energy, are wreaking havoc on workers’ schedules, a union says.

Boston Chamber to host weeklong events to recruit minority professionals

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce will host a five-day festival in September for millennials of color.

The chairman of the FTC said he is “very interested” in the EU case against Google, so we may see an attack on Android on home soil. Above, Google’s offices at Pancras Square in London.


Will the EU’s get-tough policy on Google end up making Android phones more expensive?

The European Union hit Google with a $5 billion fine because of its Android market dominance. So what does that mean for consumers?

Latest Business headlines

New York City will force Airbnb to disclose information on hosts

Airbnb Inc. will need to share the names and addresses of hosts in New York City with officials thanks to a new law, the latest setback for the home-rental company in one of the world’s largest tourism destinations.

EU fines Google $5b for abusing its market dominance

European authorities increased their efforts to rein in Silicon Valley by fining Google a record $5 billion for abusing its power in the mobile phone market.

Business agenda

Earnings reports, workshops, and other events and things to know.

US stocks edge higher as airlines, railroads, and banks jump

Big gains for banks and transportation companies took US stock indexes slightly higher Wednesday. Other parts of the market didn’t move much.

Ford recalls 550,000 vehicles that can roll away unexpectedly

Ford is recalling the cars and SUVs in North America to fix a gearshift problem that could cause them to roll away.


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Eric Betzig’s newest microscope looks nothing like the one you remember from school.

More Business headlines

Google hit with record $5 billion fine by EU over Android

The blockbuster fine comes with an accompanying EU order freeing up phone manufacturers to choose non-Google apps to install on Android phones.

(From left) European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and European Council President Donald Tusk at Tuesday’s signing event.

As tensions with US worsen, Europe courts new partners

On Tuesday in Tokyo, the EU signed its largest trade deal ever, a pact with Japan that will slash customs duties on products like European wine and cheese, while gradually reducing tariffs on cars.

Lloyd C. Blankfein (left) will hand over the chief executive role at Goldman Sachs on Oct. 1 to veteran investment banker David M. Solomon.

Goldman president Solomon to become CEO on Oct. 1

Goldman Sachs on Tuesday named David M. Solomon as its next chief executive officer, putting a veteran investment banker in charge of a Wall Street giant that faces mounting challenges.

Senator Will Brownsberger said the House version of a noncompete compromise “moves the ball forward.”

Legislative session comes to a close without action on noncompete reforms

With two weeks of formal legislative sessions remaining for the year, time has apparently run out on efforts to limit noncompete agreements in Massachusetts.

FDA aims to make it easier to get some common drugs without a prescription

The Food and Drug Administration is evaluating ways to make sure patients don’t take an inappropriate over-the-counter drug.

Stocks rebound as tech and household goods companies rise

Stocks rallied Tuesday as retailers and technology and household goods companies all made solid gains and helped the market shake off a weak start.

Business agenda

A barbecue benefit, panels, and other events and things to know.

The lawsuit over Harvard’s admission practices was not filed by Asian Americans, but by a white guy, Ed Blum, who lost a court challenge to race-based admissions at the University of Texas involving a white student, Abigail Fisher. Blum (center) and Fisher (left) are pictured above in 2013.

Shirley Leung

Harvard lawsuit is about affirmative action, not Asian Americans

The case has divided Asian Americans. Some of us want to keep affirmative action to ensure diverse campuses. Others say race-blind policies ensure Asian American applicants don’t experience bias.

Shane Steffens


A lot’s riding on an EF executive who’s shifting gears

Bold Types: A longtime executive at EF Education First has found himself steeped in a world of wheels in his new job, overseeing EF Education First’s cycling team.

It is estimated that Prime Day will generate $3.4 billion in sales worldwide for Amazon.

Amazon’s Prime Day dimmed by website woes

Amazon’s website ran into some snags quickly Monday on its much-hyped Prime Day, an embarrassment for the tech company on the shopping holiday it created.

Business agenda

LinkedIn workshop, self preservation webinar, and other events and things to know.

US challenges China, EU, and others over steel tariffs

The Trump administration brought cases at World Trade Organization over retaliation against American tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Most stocks fall as crude oil prices drop 4 percent; bank shares climb

Major stock indexes closed mostly lower Monday as investors bought banks but sold most other types of stocks.

Uber faces US probe into alleged gender bias

The government is investigating allegations that the ride-hailing service set up a pay structure that discriminated against its female workers.

Beth Israel-Lahey merger raises a Medicaid issue

A relatively low portion of both hospitals’ patients are poor.

Elon Musk’s social media conduct may be bad for his business

When Tesla chief Elon Musk called a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a pedophile, he may have gone one tweet too far.

FILE- In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, packages pass through a scanner at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore. Amazon's Prime Day starts July 16, 2018, and will be six hours longer than last year's and will launch new products. (Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Amazon’s much-hyped Prime Day runs into snags

Shoppers clicking on many Prime Day links after the 3 p.m. launch got only images of dogs with the words, ‘‘Uh-oh. Something went wrong on our end.’’

Mike Volpe (left) will be CEO of Lola, a business travel booking company cofounded by Paul English.

Paul English hires a veteran marketing executive to run Lola

Cofounder Paul English said Monday the travel company has brought on one-time HubSpot marketing chief Mike Volpe as chief executive.

Potential DNA damage from CRISPR ‘underestimated,’ study finds

CRISPR-Cas9 can cause significantly greater genetic havoc than experts thought, the study found, perhaps enough to threaten the health of patients who could receive CRISPR-based therapy.

Thelma Kaminsky in 2016. (Family Handout)


Denied a chance to say goodbye to an old friend

When Thelma Kaminsky died last month at age 87, no friends gathered in her building to grieve and pay their respects. The managers of her building wouldn’t allow it.

After Hurricane Maria, foreclosures in Puerto Rico stopped, but they’re starting again

The foreclosure machine that ground to a halt in Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in September is slowly cranking up again.

The week ahead in business

Networking, social media workshops, and more events and things to know.

The newly restored Emerson Colonial Theatre kicked off its new era with “Moulin Rouge!”

Coming soon to a theater near you: State tax incentives?

Lawmakers are pondering offering state tax credits to encourage producers to debut Broadway-bound shows in Massachusetts.

In May, hundreds rallied at the State House for paid leave and a $15 minimum wage, both of which were adopted.

Evan Horowitz | Quick Study

Will wages ever catch up in an era of weak unions, mergers, and rising inflation?

Jobs may be plentiful and corporate profits strong, but the US economy is still failing workers.

FILE - This Oct. 21, 2016, file photo shows a CVS drugstore and pharmacy location in Philadelphia. CVS Health is making prescription deliveries available from its stores nationwide, as retailers continue to adjust to a growing threat from the online giant Amazon. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

CVS apologizes after managers call cops on black customer

CVS Health is apologizing after a black customer says a white store manager in Chicago accused her of trying to use a phony coupon.

Johnson & Johnson’s $4.69 billion talc verdict may open floodgates to more suits

The company should ready itself for a flood of new lawsuits, legal experts said.

At Uber, new questions arise about executive behavior

Barney Harford was hired late last year to help fix problems at Uber, the ride-hailing company. Instead, he has created new ones.

Paychecks lag as profits soar, and prices erode wage gains

Corporate profits have rarely swept up a bigger share of the nation’s wealth, and workers have rarely shared a smaller one.

Dr. David Schenkein, the CEO of Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Work Space

This CEO doesn’t like to be cornered

David Schenkein’s office at Agios Pharmaceuticals reflects his life story and vision.

The clearest big-picture finding of the study is that the average job isn’t nearly as painful as it used to be.

Evan Horowitz | Quick Study

Work is getting better, especially for women

Women have upgraded their working lives, moving into jobs that are more meaningful — but things look wholly different for men, according to a provocative new study.

How many different resumes should you have?

It is smart to tailor your resume to a specific job opening — with a few caveats.

Ellen Waylonis says her signature move is the y-scale — a split while pulling one of her legs behind her head.


Her circus business embraces the unconventional

Ellen Waylonis and her husband are proprietors of Esh Circus Arts in Somerville.


No, you don’t need a perfect 850 FICO score

Once you get close to the top levels of any scoring model you are considered an exceptional borrower.


The week in business

Five of the top stories from the past week.

Mass. lawmakers wrap up work on energy legislation

It looks like Massachusetts will get another energy bill after all.

Microsoft urges Congress to regulate facial recognition

Amid a growing call for regulations to limit the use of facial recognition technology, Microsoft on Friday became the first tech giant to join the chorus.

Fed plays down trade woes and suggests rosy economic outlook

Federal Reserve officials presented a rosy economic report card to Congress on Friday, playing down risks to growth from trade tensions and declaring that the financial system is “substantially more resilient than during the decade before the financial crisis.”

3D printing companies clash in federal court

Desktop Metal is accusing Markforged of stealing its ideas for printing metal parts.

A three-building complex along Shawmut Avenue in the South End has been approved by the Boston Planning & Development Agency board.

Two South End apartment complexes, including a ‘millennial resort,’ win approval

The other project, on Shawmut Avenue, calls for at least 139 units to be set aside for low- and middle-income residents.

Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm, Affectiva.

Tech Lab

Tech community wrestles over working with government

Some entrepreneurs and employees of tech firms object to their technology being used by surveillance and enforcement agencies.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a House panel Thursday that he is “available” for negotiations with China.

US, China may talk amid escalating trade threats

The U.S. and China signaled they were open to resuming negotiations over trade after days of exchanging retaliatory threats, though Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Beijing must commit to deeper economic reforms.

Tech Lab by Hiawatha Bray


Bray writes about technology for the Business section. His Tech Lab column appears on Thursdays.

Shirley Leung


Leung writes a business column every Wednesday and Friday. Previously she served six years as the business editor overseeing daily and Sunday coverage.