Monthly Archives: July 2019

Buffalo Construction Consultants (BCC) is seeking subcontractor and supplier proposals for the Sheetmetal Workers Local 71 Project, located at 24 Liberty Ave, Buffalo, NY 14215.

Buffalo Construction Consultants (BCC) is seeking subcontractor and supplier proposals for the Sheetmetal Workers Local 71 Project, located at 24 Liberty Ave, Buffalo, NY 14215. The project includes demolition and abatement, concrete and masonry repairs, steel deck re- placement and miscellaneous metals, roofing replacement, metal panels, aluminum windows and storefront, exterior stud framing, painting, plumbing and electrical work.

NYS and Erie County certified Minority and Women Business Enterprise and Service-Disabled Veterans Business participation is strongly encouraged.

An optional MWBE meeting may be held at the request of subcontractors at BCC’s office located at 6000 N. Bailey Ave., Suite 2D, Buffalo, NY 14226. Please contact Mike Maglio to schedule a meeting.

Minority Owned/Women Owned Sucontracting Goal: 30% Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Subcontracting Goal: 1%

Interested contractors should contact Michael Maglio via Email at:mmaglio@buffalocon-

Project documents will be available on August 2, 2019. Proposals will be due no later than August 16, 2019 at 3pm. Bids to be submitted electronically via Email to:

County(ies): Erie


Buffalo Public Schools New Pre K-8 Parent and Student Orientation

When: Saturday, August 17th 2019

Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Buffalo Academy for Visual and Preforming Arts – 450 Masten, Buffalo, NY 14209


-Receive important information to Guarantee Your Child’s Success Beginning Day 1:


-Important of School Attendance


-Achieving Student Academic Success (Grade Level Expectation)


-Transportation Guidelines & Expectations


-Special Education Referral Process


-Parent Engagement Opportunities


-And More……..

    De ser confirmado en la Legislatura, el excomisionado residente en Washington se convertiría en gobernador de Puerto Rico a partir del próximo viernes a las 5:00 p.m.

    El renunciante gobernador Ricardo Rosselló nombró hoy a Pedro Pierluisi como secretario de Estado. El anuncio lo realizó mediante su cuenta de Twitter en la mañana de hoy, miércoles.

    Su nombramiento ahora debe ser confirmado por la Cámara de Representantes y el Senado. Ambos cuerpos, que se encuentran en receso, deberán convocar a sesiones extraordinarias para confirmar el nombramiento antes del viernes.

    De ser confirmado en la Legislatura, el excomisionado residente en Washington se convertiría en gobernador de Puerto Rico a partir del próximo viernes a las 5:00 p.m. cuando entre en efecto la renuncia del saliente primer ejecutivo Ricardo Rosselló quien anunció su dimisión el pasado 24 de julio.

    Su trayectoria

    El excomisionado residente en Washington, Pedro Pierluisi obtuvo una licencia para ausentarse desde hoy 30 de julio en el bufete O’Neill & Borges, al que había regresado a laborar el 9 de enero de 2017, días después de culminar su término en la capital federal.

    La licencia de trabajo, que coincide con su nombramiento a la vacante en la silla del Departamento del Estado, aparece en la página web del bufete O’Neill &Borges.

    Desde noviembre de 2017, la firma de abogados obtuvo contratos de asesoría legal con la Junta de Supervisión Fiscal (JSF).

    Pierluisi tiene 60 años. Nació el 26 de abril de 1959 en San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fue comisionado residente de Puerto Rico en Washington desde enero de 2009 hasta diciembre de 2014.

    También fue aspirante a la gobernación por el Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) en las pasadas elecciones generales de 2016, pero el renunciante gobernador Ricardo Rosselló Nevares lo derrotó en una primaria.

    Fue miembro del partido demócrata, co-presidió el comité de campaña del entonces candidato a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, en Puerto Rico.

    A la corta edad de 33 años, fue nombrado por el gobernador Pedro Rosselló como secretario de Justicia de Puerto Rico, puesto que ocupó de 1993 a 1996.

    Completó sus estudios de bachillerato en Tulane University y obtuvo su Juris Doctor en George Washington University.

    Es padre de cuatro hijos, tiene dos nietos y está casado con María Elena Carrión. Es hijo del Ingeniero Jorge Pierluisi Díaz, pasado Secretario de Vivienda de Puerto Rico y Doris Urrutia.


      DETROIT (Reuters) – Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders offered an unabashed defense of their progressive policies during a Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, as their more moderate rivals criticized their proposals as unrealistic and politically untenable.

      The debate frequently pitted the two U.S. senators against the other eight candidates on stage, with healthcare and immigration policy highlighting the divisions between the two camps.

      On the first night of back-to-back debates, Democrats were united in stressing the urgency of defeating Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election. But they delivered bruising critiques of their party rivals’ positions as detailed policy disagreements dominated the nearly three-hour event.

      The dispute between the moderate and liberal wings of the Democratic Party highlighted the central question of the nominating contest: Which candidate in the field of more than two dozen would be best positioned to beat Trump next year?

      The moderate wing, led at times by Montana Governor Steve Bullock, argued Democrats risk losing voters after moving too far to the left in the opening debate last month in Miami.

      “Watching that last debate, folks seemed more concerned about scoring points or outdoing each other with wish-list economics than making sure Americans know we hear their voices and will help their lives,” said Bullock, who emerged as a forceful voice in his first presidential debate.

        WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve cut interest rates on Wednesday for the first time since 2008, citing concerns about the global economy and muted U.S. inflation, and signaled a readiness to lower borrowing costs further if needed.

        Financial markets had widely expected the quarter-percentage-point rate cut, which lowered the U.S. central bank’s benchmark overnight lending rate to a target range of 2.00% to 2.25%.

        In a statement at the end of its latest two-day policy meeting, the Fed said it had decided to cut rates “in light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures.”

        The Fed said it will “continue to monitor” how incoming information will affect the economy, adding that it “will act as appropriate to sustain” a record-long U.S. economic expansion.

        “It’s smart of them to go ahead and take out some insurance here. It’s better than none at all,” said Brett Ewing, chief market strategist at First Franklin Financial Services in Tallahassee, Florida.

        U.S. stock prices, which had largely drifted sideways earlier Wednesday as investors awaited the meeting’s outcome, dipped after the Fed’s statement. The benchmark S&P 500 Index .SPX was down fractionally after briefly falling to the day’s low.

        Heading into Wednesday, the index was up about 3% since June 19, when the Fed first signaled a rate cut was likely as it pledged then to act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”

        Yields on U.S. Treasury securities rose as the bonds’ prices, which move in the opposite direction, fell. Ten-year US10YT=RR note yields edged up to about 2.04%, while yields on 2-year notes US2YT=RR, a proxy for Fed policy rates, rose to 1.86%.

        The U.S. dollar index .DXY gained ground to touch its highest in more than two years. The index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was up about 0.20% on the day.

        TWO ‘NO’ VOTES

        The decision drew dissents from Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Kansas City Fed President Esther George who argued for leaving rates unchanged.

        Both have raised doubts about a rate cut in the face of the current expansion, an unemployment rate that is near a 50-year-low, and robust household spending.

        On the opposite flank, U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to be disappointed the Fed did not deliver the large rate cut he had demanded. Trump has repeatedly harangued the central bank and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for not doing enough to help his administration’s efforts to boost economic growth.

        Powell and other Fed officials in recent weeks have walked a middle ground, flagging risks like continued uncertainty on the global trade front, low inflation and a weakening world economy, but repeating the view the United States is fundamentally in a good spot.

        Powell is expected to elaborate on the Fed’s thinking in a news conference at 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT).

        The Fed said in its statement that it continued to regard the labor market as “strong” and added that household spending had “picked up.” But it noted business spending was “soft” and that measures of inflation compensation remain low.

        The Fed said the rate cut should help return inflation to its 2% target but that uncertainties about that outlook remain. Sustained expansion of economic activity and a strong labor market are also the most likely outcomes, the Fed said.

        Underscoring its decision to ease policy across the board, the Fed also said it would stop shrinking its massive holdings of bonds starting Aug. 1, two months ahead of schedule.

        “I think ending the quantitative tightening right here was also a good call,” First Franklin’s Ewing said.

        Reporting by Ann Saphir and Jason Lange; Editing by Paul Simao and Dan Burns.

          WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday gave President Trump a victory in his fight for a wall along the Mexican border by allowing the administration to begin using $2.5 billion in Pentagon money for the construction.

          In a 5-to-4 ruling, the court overturned an appellate decision and said that the administration could tap the money while litigation over the matter proceeds. But that will most likely take many months or longer, allowing Mr. Trump to move ahead before the case returns to the Supreme Court after further proceedings in the appeals court.

          While the order was only one paragraph long and unsigned, the Supreme Court said the groups challenging the administration did not appear to have a legal right to do so. That was an indication that the court’s conservative majority was likely to side with the administration in the end.

          The court’s four more liberal justices dissented. One of them, Stephen G. Breyer, wrote that he would have allowed the administration to pursue preparatory work but not construction, which he said would be hard to undo if the administration ultimately lost the case.

          President Trump promptly posted on Twitter that he was delighted with the ruling: “Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!”

          The ruling came on the same day that Mr. Trump signed an agreement with Guatemala that was intended to slow the flow of Central American migrants seeking refuge in the United States. Migrants who travel north through Guatemala will be required to seek asylum there first.

          The border wall case, Trump v. Sierra Club, No. 19A60, concerned injunctions entered by a trial judge that blocked the transfer of military funds to wall construction. An appeals court refused to stay the trial judge’s ruling while it considered the administration’s appeal. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday allows construction to proceed while the litigation continues.

          Dror Ladin, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups behind the legal challenge, said the ruling was a temporary setback.

          “We will be asking the federal appeals court to expedite the ongoing appeals proceeding to halt the irreversible and imminent damage from Trump’s border wall,” Mr. Ladin said. “Border communities, the environment, and our Constitution’s separation of powers will be permanently harmed should Trump get away with pillaging military funds for a xenophobic border wall Congress denied.”

          Justice Breyer was the only member of the court to file an opinion. “This case raises novel and important questions about the ability of private parties to enforce Congress’s appropriations power,” he wrote. But the immediate issue for the court, he added, was merely whether to enter a stay of the trial court’s injunction.

          Allowing construction to start, Justice Breyer wrote, could cause irreparable harm to the challengers and to the environment. On the other hand, he wrote, the administration could lose access to the funds if it did not finalize contracts by the end of September. The solution, he wrote, would be to let the government negotiate and sign contracts, but not start building.

          “I would grant the government’s application to stay the injunction only to the extent that the injunction prevents the government from finalizing the contracts or taking other preparatory administrative action,” Justice Breyer wrote, “but leave it in place insofar as it precludes the government from disbursing those funds or beginning construction.”

          In February, President Trump declared a national emergency along the Mexican border. The declaration followed a two-month impasse with Congress over funding to build his long-promised barrier wall, an impasse that gave rise to the longest partial government shutdown in the nation’s history.

          After Congress appropriated only a fraction of what Mr. Trump had sought, he announced that he would act unilaterally to spend billions more.

          Soon after, two advocacy groups represented by the A.C.L.U. — the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition — sued to stop Mr. Trump’s plan to use money meant for military programs to build barriers along the border in what he said was an effort to combat drug trafficking.

          Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr., of the United States District Court in Oakland, Calif., blocked the effort in a pair of decisions that said the statute the administration had relied on to justify the transfer did not authorize it.

          “The case is not about whether the challenged border barrier construction plan is wise or unwise. It is not about whether the plan is the right or wrong policy response to existing conditions at the southern border of the United States,” Judge Gilliam wrote. “Instead, this case presents strict legal questions regarding whether the proposed plan for funding border barrier construction exceeds the executive branch’s lawful authority.”

          A divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, refused to stay Judge Gilliam’s injunction while the court considered the government’s appeal.

          The public interest, the majority said, “is best served by respecting the Constitution’s assignment of the power of the purse to Congress, and by deferring to Congress’s understanding of the public interest as reflected in its repeated denial of more funding for border barrier construction.”

          In urging the Supreme Court to intercede, Noel J. Francisco, the solicitor general, wrote that the plaintiffs’ “interests in hiking, bird watching and fishing in designated drug-smuggling corridors do not outweigh the harm to the public from halting the government’s efforts to construct barriers to stanch the flow of illegal narcotics across the southern border.”

          Mr. Francisco argued that the lower courts had misread two provisions of a federal law in concluding that the transfer was not authorized. The law allows reallocation of money to address “unforeseen military requirements” where the expenditures had not already been “denied by Congress.” Mr. Francisco wrote that the drug enforcement measures were unforeseen when the Defense Department made its budget request and that Congress had never addressed the particular narcotics measures.

          In response, the A.C.L.U. said that the central issue in the case was straightforward. The administration, the group wrote, “lacks authority to spend taxpayer funds on a wall that Congress considered and denied.”

          Public Notice

          Disadvantaged BusinessEnterprise(DBE)

          FAA Goalfor FFY2020-2022

          NiagaraFrontier Transportation Authority(NFTA), in accordancewith requirements of theU.S. Department of Federal AviationAdministration as set forth in 49 CFR Part 26, herebyannounces aproposed DisadvantagedBusinessEnterprise (DBE) Goal of16%forFederalFiscalYear(FFY)October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2022.

          The proposed goal and its rationale are available for inspection from 8:00 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, at NFTA MTC located at 181 Ellicott Street., 4th Floor, Buffalo,NY 14203, for30 days following the date of this notice.

          Written comments willalsobeaccepted for 30 days fromthedate ofthis notice. Thecomments arefor informational purposes onlyandmaybesent toManager ofEEO/Diversity Developmentat theabove-mentionedaddress, or to the Federal AviationAdministration, Office of Civil Rights Office,Room1030, ACR-1, 800 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC  20591.





          Date:  July25, 2019

          Ricardo Rosselló utilizó su cuenta de Twitter para negar que haya solicitado un indulto a cambio de nombrar como secretario de Estado a Thomas Rivera Schatz.

          El gobernador Ricardo Rosselló Nevares retomó esta tarde el uso de sus redes sociales para negar una información publicada por Primera Hora, en la que varias fuentes aseguraron que él intentó negociar un indulto a cambio de nombrar al presidente del Senado, Thomas Rivera Schatz, como secretario de Estado para que se convirtiera en gobernador de facto tras su salida de Fortaleza el próximo 5 de agosto.

          “Esta noticia es totalmente falsa”, escribió Rosselló en Twitter, red social a la que recurrió horas antes para dar cuenta de las reuniones de trabajo que realizó hoy, tras el anuncio de su renuncia anoche.

          Fuentes provenientes de Partido Nuevo Progresista y de la Asamblea Legislativa, indicaron a Primera Hora que el gobernador Rosselló tuvo varias reuniones para negociar su renuncia y como no logró negociar el compromiso de una clemencia ejecutiva, anunció que sería la secretaria de Justicia, Wanda Vázquez, la que lo sustituiría en el cargo. De hecho, originalmente la fuente indicó que el pedido de Rosselló era de “inmunidad” y luego aclaró que el término correcto  era “indulto”.

          “Estoy sorprendido, primero, que responda, y segundo, él sabe que lo van a tirar al medio, porque él sabe que está hablando con gente”, reaccionó el informante  tras conocer que el gobernador negó la información y reafirmar que las negociaciones continúan.

          Según se alega, el presidente del Senado y del PartidoNuevo Progresista (PNP), Rivera Schatz, llevaba de “tres a cuatro días” intentando posicionarse como el próximo secretario de Estado para así lograr gobernar al País tras la renuncia de Rosselló Nevares, dijeron a este diario cinco personas involucradas en dichas reuniones de negociación.

          De acuerdo al relato de dos legisladores que hablaron bajo condición de anonimato, “ayer fue que se trancaron”, debido a la oposición de la comisionada residente Jenniffer González al nombramiento de Rivera Schatz.

          Por su parte, la comisionada residente negó en su cuenta de Twitter haber participado de ninguna negociación al respecto. “He mantenido comunicación diaria con los presidentes legislativos y no ha habido Negociacion de nada”, escribió.

          En las conversaciones -se indicó- Rosselló Nevares propuso nombrar como secretario de Estado al excomisionado residente Pedro Pierluisi, pues éste no tendría interés en aspirar a ningún cargo electivo en las elecciones del 2020. Se señaló que el saliente ejecutivo se rehusaba a que fuese elegido el senador ponceño Larry Seilhamer, propuesto inicialmente por los legisladores, pues argumentaba que, “se necesitaba una figura fuerte ante el Partido Popular Democrático’’ y que “hacía falta alguien que mantenga la línea de partido”.

          Primera Hora ha pedido en varias ocasiones entrevista con el gobernador, pero no ha sido concedida. También se pidieron reacciones a Thomas Rivers Schatz y Pedro Pierluisi, pero hasta el momento no han respondido.

            FILE PHOTO: Shoppers carry bags of purchased merchandise at the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, U.S., December 8, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela/File Photo

            WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy likely grew at its slowest pace in more than two years in the second quarter as an acceleration in consumer spending was probably offset by weak exports and business investment.

            The anticipated moderation in growth will come against the backdrop of rising risks to the economy’s outlook, especially from a trade war between the United States and China as well as slowing growth overseas, which are seen encouraging the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates next Wednesday for the first time in a decade.

            With a strong labor market supporting consumer spending, a recession is, however, not on the horizon. The Commerce Department will publish the second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report on Friday at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT).

            “The slowing in the economy spooked the Fed and markets, but the sky is not falling,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “If we do get a recession next year it would be because we shot ourselves in the foot with the trade tensions.”

            Gross domestic product probably increased at a 1.8% annualized rate in the second quarter, also because of a smaller inventory build, according to a Reuters survey of economists, after surging at a 3.1% pace in the January-March period.

            But with the volatile exports and inventory categories accounting for much of the expected step-down in GDP, the slowest growth pace since the first quarter of 2017 will likely mask some underlying strength in the 10-year economic expansion, the longest in history.

            The survey was completed before the release of June wholesale and retail inventories as well as durable goods and goods trade deficit data, which led the Atlanta Fed to cut its forecast by three-tenths of a percentage point to a 1.3% rate.

            The economy is slowing largely as the stimulus from the White House’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package fades. The tax cuts together with more government spending and deregulation were part of measures adopted by the Trump administration to boost annual economic growth to 3.0% on a sustained basis.

            The economy grew 2.9% in 2018 and growth this year is expected to be around 2.5%. Economists estimate the speed at which the economy can grow over a long period without igniting inflation at between 1.7% and 2.0%.

            “As the benefits of fiscal stimulus fade and trade policy uncertainty and slowing global demand remain headwinds to business investment, U.S. GDP growth should moderate,” said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

            The GDP report is also expected to show a pickup in inflation last quarter, but the overall trend likely remained benign. The government will also publish revisions to GDP data from 2014 through the first quarter of 2019.


            Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, is expected to have surged after slowing to a 0.9% rate in the first quarter, the weakest in a year. Some of the slowdown in consumer spending early in the year was blamed on a 35-day partial shutdown of the government. Spending is being supported by the lowest unemployment rate in nearly 50 years, which is lifting wages.

            The jump in consumer spending was, however, likely blunted by a sharp drop in exports, in a reversal of the strong growth experienced in the first quarter. Weak exports are expected to have resulted in the deterioration of the trade deficit in the second quarter. Trade is believed to have subtracted from GDP growth last quarter after contributing 0.94 percentage point in the January-March period.

            The acceleration in consumer spending likely helped businesses to whittle down an inventory overhang, resulting in a smaller inventory build. While that probably weighed on GDP growth in the second quarter, it is a potential boost to manufacturing. Businesses have been placing fewer orders with factories while working through stockpiles of unsold goods, which contributed to undercutting manufacturing production.

            Business investment was probably weak in the second quarter, with spending on equipment expected to have contracted again after declining at its steepest pace in three years in the January-March period.

            Fed Chairman Jerome Powell early this month flagged business investment as one area of weakness in the economy, noting it had “slowed notably,” and that this might “reflect concerns about trade tensions and slower growth in the global economy.”

            Design problems at aerospace giant Boeing (BA.N) have hurt business investment, with some spillover to exports.

            Boeing reported its biggest-ever quarterly loss on Wednesday due to the spiraling cost of resolving issues with its 737 MAX airplane and warned it might have to shut production of the grounded jet completely if it runs into new hurdles with global regulators to getting its best-selling aircraft back in the air.

            The plane was grounded worldwide in March after two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Production of the aircraft has been reduced and deliveries suspended. Economists estimate the 737 MAX troubles cut at least two-tenths of a percentage point from GDP growth in the second quarter.

            “There could be more noticeable effects on various growth components, with weakness in related equipment spending and exports and a partially offsetting increase in inventories,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.

            Business spending on structures, which include oil and gas well drilling, is expected to have declined last quarter. Spending on intellectual products, including research and development, likely increased.

            Strong growth in government investment is expected, but spending on homebuilding likely contracted for a sixth straight quarter.

            Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci

              WASHINGTON (Reuters) – T-Mobile US Inc won U.S. antitrust approval for its $26 billion takeover of rival Sprint Corp, the Justice Department said Friday, clearing a major hurdle to a deal that merges the nation’s third and fourth largest wireless carriers.

              The companies have agreed to divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, to satellite television firm Dish Network Corp to create a fourth U.S. wireless carrier.

              The Justice Department indicated the deal would improve competition and the rollout of faster 5G networks by combining weaker players and creating a strong, new No. 4, in Dish, that has unused spectrum, which can be activated. Critics, including some state attorneys general, say competition won’t increase and prices for mobile phone plans will rise.

              The deal is a clear success for T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere, who will be the CEO of the combined company and who pushed back at critics arguing a more concentrated market would lead to higher prices.

              “It’s a bit dumbfounding to think that we’ve decided to go and build this network and go through this merger so that we can become the basic, lazy, fat, dumb and arrogant players that we were born to teach how to behave,” he told analysts in a conference call.

              Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, said the deal would hasten the development of 5G, the next generation of wireless.

              Shares of T-Mobile, which is about 63 percent owned by Deutsche Telekom AG, were up 5.3% at $84.17. Shares of Sprint, which is about 84 percent owned by Softbank Group Corp, rose 7.1% to $7.97. Dish was up 0.7% at $39.44.

              But the deal still faces a significant challenge: A group of U.S. state attorneys general, including from New York and California, have sued to block the merger on antitrust grounds, arguing the proposed deal would cost consumers more than $4.5 billion annually.

              New York State Attorney General Letitia James indicated the lawsuit would continue, at least in part because of what critics see as Dish’s failure to live up to pledges it had made.

              “We have serious concerns that cobbling together this new fourth mobile player, with the government picking winners and losers, will not address the merger’s harm to consumers, workers, and innovation,” she said.

              The Justice Department, backed by five state attorneys general, said the deal required the merging companies to sell Virgin Mobile and Sprint’s prepaid business and provide Dish with access to 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations.

              Prepaid wireless phones are generally sought by lower-income people who cannot pass a credit check.

              Dish has agreed to acquire spectrum, or airwaves that carry data, in a deal valued at $3.6 billion from the merged firm and pay $1.4 billion for Sprint’s prepaid business that serves about 9.3 million customers. Dish will get access to the new T-Mobile’s network for seven years while it builds its own 5G network.

              T-Mobile and Dish are also required to work out a deal where T-Mobile can use Dish’s unused 600 MHz spectrum and the companies are required to use eSIM, which allows consumers to switch easily between carriers, a Justice Department official said.


              T-Mobile competes with Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc (T.N).

              U.S. consumers tend to stick with one mobile carrier for years, giving companies a steady stream of cash. As more people rely on cell phones for social media, banking or news and entertainment, the lines have blurred between telecom, content and cable companies, just as so-called 5G technology promises to make mobile phones even more powerful.

              Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement on Friday he would soon circulate a formal order supporting the deal. The FCC could vote on final approval in August or September, officials said.

              The FCC agreed to give Dish more time to use spectrum it previously acquired. The company could face up to $2.2 billion in penalties and lose its spectrum licenses if it fails to meet its commitments to build its network, according to a letter filed Friday with the FCC. Dish must have a 5G network covering at least 70% of the U.S. population no later than June 14, 2023.

              Dish has spent years stockpiling wireless spectrum and faced a looming March 2020 deadline to build a product using the spectrum in order to fulfill its license requirements.

              Some senior lawmakers remained skeptical about the merger, including Senators Mike Lee, a Republican, and Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, the top lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.

              Lee said he was hopeful the divestiture would succeed but uneasy about Dish’s dual role as a critic of the transaction and a buyer of divested assets.

              Klobuchar, who is running for president, reiterated that she had wanted the deal stopped. “It looked like a bad deal then, and it looks like a bad deal today, despite the parties’ promises and this proposed consent decree,” she said.

              Reporting by Diane Bartz and David Shepardson; Additional reporting by Nick Zieminski and Angela

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