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Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont today completed their $130 billion merger, which was originally announced in December 2015. Each company's shares stopped trading at market close yesterday, with the combined DowDuPont listing today under ticker symbol DWDP.

Up next: This may look like the final act of one of the largest M&A transactions of all time, but it's really more of an interim step before DowDuPont breaks itself back up. The plan is to split into three independent, publicly-traded companies — agriculture, material sciences and specialty products — although some like activist investor Dan Loeb believe more value could be created by adding a fourth sliver to the split stool.

Bottom line from Philly.com's Joseph DiStefano: "Dow contributes two-thirds of the combined $77 billion in yearly sales, and more than half of the 100,000 employees and $150 billion in market value, but the companies call this a 'merger of equals,' with eight directors from each side on the combined board. That allows the bosses to do their spin-offs without paying income tax on sales proceeds."

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
34 mins ago - Technology

Intel CEO wants to compete against Apple

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger hasn't given up on the idea of the Mac once again using Intel chips, but he acknowledges it will probably be years before he gets that chance.

  • In the meantime, he is focused on powering Windows machines that give Apple CEO Tim Cook a run for his money.

Why it matters: In getting pushed out of the Mac, Intel not only lost a customer, but picked up a new rival.

39 mins ago - Health

Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, in an "Axios on HBO" interview, said he's reluctant to withhold federal funding from states that won't enforce school mask mandates because he doesn't want to hurt students.

Why it matters: Cardona's comments suggest there are limits to how far the Biden administration will go in pressuring states to adopt universal masking — or vaccine mandates.

Mike Allen, author of AM
50 mins ago - Axios on HBO

GOP senator smacks Trump

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told “Axios on HBO” he’s not sure former President Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination if he ran in 2024 — a rare voice of criticism from within the party.

  • When I raised the conventional wisdom that Trump would be expected to win the nomination, Cassidy jumped in.“
  • I don't know that,” the senator said during our interview in Chalmette, La.