AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and President Donald Trump earlier this year. (Evan Vucci / AP)

Bloomberg reports that AT&T and Time Warner are in conversations with the federal government about conditions that could be applied to their proposed merger. AT&T declined to comment on the story — which described the discussions as preliminary — and the Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

What to watch:

  • Questions about how AT&T would offer and market premium cable channels that compete with the Time Warner-owned HBO
  • Issues over how streaming services that compete with Time Warner products are treated by AT&T's network

The X factor: Political pressure. President Trump slammed the merger on the campaign trail, and Democrats expressed concerns about the transaction in their Better Deal agenda released today. But there have not been signs that the regulators vetting the deal are planning to axe it entirely.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

8 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been highly influential in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.

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