Photo: Tolga Akmen / AFP/Getty Images

Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA) agreed to merge its Virgin Media broadband provider with Telefonica's (Madrid: TEF) O2 wireless carrier in a deal that would value the combined company at around $38 billion.

Why it matters: It's the largest U.K. telecoms deal in years, and creates a viable rival to market leader BT.

The bottom line: "The deal will reshape the British telecoms sector by uniting the country’s second-largest broadband network with the largest mobile network, which has 26m direct customers and 34m non-direct clients, via brands such as Tesco Mobile and business users. It will also force rivals Vodafone, Sky, Three and TalkTalk to compete with two much larger telecoms companies." — The Financial Times

Go deeper: Global merger and acquisition activity decreased in 2019

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Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

U.S. cities' lagging climate progress

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Reproduced from a Brookings Institution report; Chart: Axios Visuals

A just-published Brookings Institution analysis of U.S. cities' pledges to cut carbon emissions reveals very mixed results.

Why it matters: The potential — and limits — of city and state initiatives have gotten more attention amid President Trump's scuttling of Obama-era national policies.

New state unemployment filings fall to 787,000

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: Many U.S. deaths were avoidable — The pandemic is getting worse again.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.