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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said Monday morning that he would recommend the agency approve the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.

Why it matters: The deal, which also requires federal approval from the Department of Justice, would reduce the number of national wireless carriers from 4 to 3. The FCC's announcement comes after the companies promised to divest Sprint's prepaid wireless brand, among other pledges, according to Pai.

What they're saying: "I believe that this transaction is in the public interest and intend to recommend to my colleagues that the FCC approve it," said Pai. "This is a unique opportunity to speed up the deployment of 5G throughout the United States and bring much faster mobile broadband to rural Americans."

  • Pai needs two votes in addition to his own for the deal to gain the agency's blessing.
  • Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said he would support the deal, while Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel said that she had "serious doubts" about it.

Details:

  • T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to divest Boost Mobile, Sprint's prepaid wireless offering, as well as other commitments related to building out its 5G wireless network.
  • That comes on top of an earlier commitment not to raise prices for three years.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice declined to comment. The agency's review of the deal is ongoing.

  • A senior FCC official told reporters that its announcement was timed to the conclusion of its review, and that the DOJ and the FCC didn't always announce their decisions on deals at the same time.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with more details.

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President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.

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The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.

Trump gives Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings

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The Trump White House on Tuesday gave President-elect Biden access to daily presidential intelligence briefings, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to share the briefs until now, as he continues to challenge the result of the election and declines to concede. The president's acquiescence comes as another sign that the transition to a Biden administration is taking place.