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Intel is making a major move in the self-driving car wars, agreeing to buy Israel's Mobileye for approximately $15 billion. An announcement is expected later this morning.

News of the mega-merger was first reported in The Marker, and has been confirmed to Axios by a source familiar with the situation. Neither company has returned requests for comment.

Update: The news is officially out. Intel will pay $63.54 per share, which represents a fully-diluted equity value of $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion.

Background: Intel and Mobileye had gotten close in recent months. Last fall, the two companies agreed to a partnership whereby Intel would provide specialized chips to Mobileye's auto collision avoidance system. Then, this past January, the two companies said that they were working with BMW to get 40 autonomous cars on the road in the second half of 2017.

Why it matters: Intel believes that auto is a big part of its future, and bringing Mobileye in-house could help it catch up to rival chipmakers like Qualcomm and Nvidia. It also could aid Intel in the drone space, given Mobileye's focus on collision avoidance. For Mobileye, it's a huge premium (the company was valued at around $10.5 billion at market close Friday) and is vindication after Citron Research started shorting the company in February, saying that it was "a one-trick pony" that was overvalued.

Why repatriate? California-based Intel is expected to use cash "stuck overseas" to finance the purchase.

Expand chart

Data: Money.net; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

New clues emerge on long COVID

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The presence of certain autoantibodies or high amounts of coronavirus RNA in the blood could be indicators a patient has a higher chance of developing long COVID, according to a new study in the journal Cell.

  • Other factors include a person having Type 2 diabetes or the reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus.