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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tobacco giant Altria has invested $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in Juul, the popular e-cigarette company, the companies confirmed on Thursday after weeks of rumors.

Why it matters: The investment is sure to further raise questions about Juul's claims that it wants to replace cigarettes with a less harmful alternative.

As part of the deal, Juul says in a press release that Altria has agreed to the following stipulations:

  • "Altria will provide JUUL access to its premier innovative tobacco products retail shelf space, allowing JUUL’s tobacco and menthol-based products to appear alongside combustible cigarettes. JUUL’s flavored products will continue to only be available at JUUL.com."
  • "Altria will enable JUUL to reach adult smokers with direct communications through cigarette pack inserts and mailings to adult smokers via Altria companies’ databases."
  • "Altria will apply its logistics and distribution experience to help JUUL expand its reach and efficiency, and JUUL will have the option to be supported by Altria’s sales organization, which covers more than 230,000 retail locations."

Go deeper ... Exclusive: Juul employees upset over possible Altria deal

Go deeper

Biden to sign 15 executive actions on Day One

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.