Jan 13, 2017

Deadlocked FTC in limbo

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez is stepping down next month, leaving the agency with one Republican Commissioner, Maureen Ohlhausen, and one Democratic Commissioner, Terrell McSweeny.

What it means: The agency won't be acting on major or controversial matters until Trump nominates new members of the panel. That gives the new administration significant power to reshape the agency, but it's unclear which way it will go.

Trump may choose a chairman with a populist stance, or he could go with a traditional pro-business Republican for the job. Joshua Wright, a former Republican FTC Commissioner who has in the past done work for Google, is a transition advisor to Trump and is rumored to be well-positioned for the job.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.