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AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File

TPG Capital today said that it will pay nearly $2.4 billion to acquire Kirkland, Wash.-based Wave Broadband, which it will merge with RCN to form the country's sixth-largest cable company. Some notes after speaking with TPG partner David Trujillo:

Big but small: Trujillo says that taking on market leaders Comcast and Verizon isn't in the cards for RCN, but that growth will continue to come for players of all sizes. "The reason we like broadband companies is that they're the picks and shovels of everything else related to that scene. When people buy higher-resolution devices or want better digital music fidelity or add pieces to a connected home, all of that is a secular trend in broadband's favor."

Geographic diversity: Pacific Northwest-based Wave gives the platform more geographic diversity, following RCN (Acela corridor) and Grande (Texas). Not only does this help protect against regional economic troubles, but also will let TPG better test different pricing and promotions in different parts of the country.

Net neutrality: Trujillo says that the deal price was not at all affected by the FCC's net neutrality rollback plans, nor did the Obama-era rules affect RCN's infrastructure investments.

Overbuilds: RCN overbuilds in some markets, which means that it sits on top of existing infrastructure rather than bringing broadband to underserved markets. Trujillo's rationale is that the "ROI is so good on these overbuilds," in part because new housing developments and apartment complexes are regularly being built in such markets.

Go deeper

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.

Trump gives farewell address: "We did what we came here to do"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump gave a farewell video address on Tuesday, saying that his administration "did what we came here to do — and so much more."

Why it matters, via Axios' Alayna Treene: The address is very different from the Trump we've seen in his final weeks as president — one who has refused to accept his loss, who peddled conspiracy theories that fueled the attack on the Capitol, and who is boycotting his successor's inauguration.