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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Anadarko Petroleum on Monday indicated that it may leave Chevron at the altar, and go with Occidental Petroleum's higher acquisition bid.

Why it matters: The multibillion dollar battle highlights how keen oil heavyweights are to bolster their position in booming Permian Basin, the lucrative shale region in Texas and New Mexico where all three companies are active.

Where it stands: Anadarko said in a statement Monday morning...

"Anadarko is resuming its earlier negotiations with Occidental because Anadarko's board of directors, following consultation with its financial and legal advisors, has unanimously determined that the Occidental Proposal could reasonably be expected to result in a 'Superior Proposal' as defined in the Chevron Merger Agreement."

But, but, but: The new twist doesn't necessarily mean that Anadarko is going with Occidental. In addition to dollars, companies consider such factors as likelihood of a deal to close.

The other side: Chevron said in a statement Monday morning: “We believe our signed agreement with Anadarko provides the best value and the most certainty to Anadarko’s shareholders.”

Flashback: On April 12, Chevron and Anadarko announced a $33 billion transaction at $65-per-share, mostly in stock. Occidental offered $76-per-share last week at an even stock/cash split. There also have been reports that this is actually Occidental's second bid, having previously offered more than $70 per share in an offer quietly rejected by Anadarko's board of directors.

Go deeper

35 mins ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.

The perils of organizing underground

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Researchers see one bright spot as far-right extremists turn to private and encrypted online platforms: Friction.

Between the lines: For fringe organizers, those platforms may provide more security than open social networks, but they make it harder to recruit new members.