Just how badly does SoftBank want to combine Sprint with T-Mobile?

Enough that, according to Reuters, chief Masayoshi Son is willing to give up control and let T-Mobile's team run the company.

It's hardly shocking that the owners of Sprint and T-Mobile are imagining what married life would look like. T-Mobile CEO John Legere this week hinted a combination could be in the company's future. In fact, the only thing holding the companies back at the moment is the fact that they are prohibited from talking to one another during an ongoing U.S. spectrum auction.

Backstory: SoftBank and T-Mobile majority owner Deutsche Telekom talked before, giving up only when it was clear the Obama administration was going to oppose any deal that reduced the number of major carriers.

Why do they need a deal?: The cell phone business is a scale game. AT&T and Verizon have it; Sprint and T-Mobile don't.

What's next?: Expect talks to heat up soon after the FCC gets done with the spectrum auction, probably in April.

The only remaining question: Will Trump's FCC, as expected, buy the companies' argument that a merger is needed to preserve long-term competition in the industry?

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Deadly Hurricane Zeta pummels Alabama after Louisiana landfall

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," it began lashing Alabama late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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