Expectations are that a deal between Sprint, T-Mobile and Dish Network will be announced within the next 48 hours, whereby Dish would pay around $3.5 billion for wireless spectrum from the two carriers to push through their merger.

Why it matters: In addition to America's mobile market no longer consolidating from four major national carriers to three, this could embolden top U.S. antitrust regulator Makan Delrahim, who looked to be on his heels after being handed his legal hat on the AT&T/Time Warner deal. This comes just as the Justice Department confirmed that it will launch an investigation into the power and behavior of online platforms.

  • Dish also would pay around $1.5 billion for a prepaid mobile business that the merging companies agreed to divest as part of an earlier FCC agreement, and pledge to hold all the acquired assets for at least three years.
  • There had been talk that Amazon had interest in the prepaid business. In general, Amazon just seems to have a tire-kicking fetish.

By the numbers: T-Mobile executives spent $195,000 at the Trump International Hotel after the company agreed to buy Sprint for $26 billion, as disclosed this past March — but DOJ was unswayed by all of those suite stays, let alone the companies' PR strategy of talking up Trump-bait like job growth and 5G leadership.

Between the lines: Elon Musk must be ready to take a flame-thrower to SEC social media regulators, given how John Legere appears to have skated for his misleading — and still available — tweet about DOJ objection to the original deal structure.

Go deeper: 5G is off to a slow start

Go deeper

Trump signs bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding into the new fiscal year, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Driving the news: The Senate on Tuesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 24 mins ago - Science

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1700 firefighters are battling 26 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 39 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.