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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?

Go deeper

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Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

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FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios