Photo credit should read jean-francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images

Bayer yesterday received U.S. antitrust approval for its $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto, based on Bayer’s commitment to sell around $9 billion in assets.

Why it's a big deal: This is the largest-ever divestiture related to antitrust enforcement, and shows how the Trump administration's antipathy toward mega-mergers isn't limited to media or China.

  • Bayer has until June 14 to close the deal, which was first signed in 2016, but still needs sign-offs from Canada and Mexico.

Bottom line from WSJ's Brent Kendall: "The approval clears one of the last remaining regulatory hurdles for the Bayer-Monsanto transaction, one of three recent mega-deals that have reshaped the global market for crop seeds and chemicals. Last year Dow Chemical and DuPont merged, while China National Chemical acquired Swiss seed and pesticide maker Syngenta."

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11 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

America's coronavirus outbreak is slowing down after a summer of explosive growth.

By the numbers: The U.S. is averaging roughly 52,000 new cases per day — still a lot of cases, but about 10.5% fewer than it was averaging last week.

11 mins ago - Health

We're doing a lot less coronavirus testing

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. is cutting back on coronavirus testing. Nationally, the number of tests performed each day is about 17% lower than it was at the end of July, and testing is also declining in hard-hit states.

Why it matters: This big reduction in testing has helped clear away delays that undermined the response to the pandemic. But doing fewer tests can also undermine the response to the pandemic.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand confirmed Thursday there are now 13 local cases linked to the four who tested positive for COVID-19, ending 102 days with no community spread. Auckland locked down Wednesday for 72 hours and the rest of NZ is under lesser restrictions.

By the numbers: Over 749,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and over 20.6 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. More than 12.8 million have recovered from the virus.