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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Charles Schwab is in talks to buy TD Ameritrade, according to multiple media reports this morning.

Why it matters: This would create a discount brokerage behemoth with over $5 trillion in assets under management.

  • The combined company would be just behind BlackRock ($6.9 trillion) and Vanguard ($5.6 trillion). Schwab already was in third place with $3.85 trillion but adding TD Ameritrade closes the gap quite a bit.

Market reax: TD Ameritrade stock jumped around 25% in early trading, giving it a $22.4 billion market cap, while Schwab moved mildly higher.

The big picture: Both Schwab and TD Ameritrade recently killed their online trading commissions, in an effort to blunt the rise of Robinhood, which this past summer was valued at $7.6 billion by venture capitalists.

Neither company is commenting, although both CNBC and Fox Business report that an official announcement could come as early as today.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Cyberattack forces shutdown of major U.S. fuel pipeline

A police officer stands guard inside the gate to the Colonial Pipeline Co. Pelham junction and tank farm in Pelham, Alabama, in 2016. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A major U.S. fuel pipeline running from Texas to New York has been taken offline by its operator because of an apparent cyberattack.

The big picture: Colonial Pipeline "carries 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supplies," the N.Y. Times reports.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

The end of quarantine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Long quarantines were a necessary tool to slow the COVID-19 pandemic during its first phases, but better and faster tests — plus vaccines — mean they can be scaled back considerably.

Why it matters: Quick tests and regular surveillance methods that identify who is actually infectious can take the place of the two-week or longer isolation periods that have been common for travelers and people who might have been exposed to the virus, speeding the safe reopening of schools and workplaces.

Amazon rollups are the hottest deals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new generation of companies is forming to scoop up Amazon marketplace sellers — and venture capital firms are writing big checks to support the effort.

Why it matters: These e-commerce aggregators are all about data and using it to optimize and turbocharge sales, which means they’re using Amazon’s own playbook.