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AP

The FCC voted — according to multiple reports — to eliminate a key condition of its approval of the $65 billion merger between Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

The gritty details: The agency told Charter in signing off on the deal that it had to build out broadband to two million new customer locations, and that a million of those had to be places where there was already a broadband provider. The idea was that the latter stipulation would create new competition. That's what the FCC has voted to eliminate. A commission official argued to Axios earlier this year that it would encourage Charter to focus expand to customers who didn't already have broadband access.

Who wins: Supporters of the effort to eliminate the so-called "overbuild condition" include small cable providers. A spokesperson for Charter said in a statement that by "modifying the overbuilding condition, the FCC enables Charter to more fully devote our resources and attention to building out high-speed broadband to areas without it today."

Why it matters: It marks another place where new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is rolling back the actions of his predecessor, Democrat Tom Wheeler. Pai is a longtime critic of merger conditions he views as tangential to the deal in question.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.