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Raimond Spekking via Wikimedia Commons

The European Union said Friday it is taking a deeper look at Qualcomm's planned $38 billion deal to acquire chipmaker NXP. It said it will make a decision whether to approve the deal by Oct. 17. U.S. regulators have already approved the deal, but Qualcomm has resisted making concessions to secure approval in Europe.

Europe's concerns: The commission said it is worried that Qualcomm could bundle NXP's near-field communications technology with its strong baseband chip business or that it might charge excessive royalties over NFC. It also expressed concern about the potential of the deal to limit competition in the emerging automotive technology business

Qualcomm's response: Qualcomm says the two companies' technologies are complementary and that it still believes it can address Europe's concerns and close the deal by the end of the year.

Go deeper

Vaccine hesitancy drops, but with partisan divide

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

69% of the public intends to get a COVID vaccine or already has, up significantly from 60% in November, according to a report out Friday from the Pew Research Center.

Yes, but: The issue has become even more partisan, with 56% of Republicans who say they want or have already received a coronavirus vaccine compared to 83% of Democrats.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
48 mins ago - Energy & Environment

China's 5-year plan is hazy on climate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's highly anticipated 5-year plan revealed on Friday provides little new information about its climate initiatives, leaving plenty to discuss in multinational meetings this year and lots of blanks for China to fill in later.

Driving the news: The top-line targets for 2025, per state media, aim to lower energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon emissions intensity by 18% — that is, measures of energy use and emissions relative to economic output.

Vaccine dreams juice jobs report

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Good news for your Friday: the economy added a whopping 379,000 jobs in February — far outpacing expectations.

Why it matters: Virus cases eased in recent weeks and states lifted restrictions, helping fuel a hiring surge. It's proof of how much control the pandemic has over the job market.