Jan 6, 2017

T-Mobile CEO breathes life into Sprint merger rumors

John Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile, gave the first public acknowledgment on Thursday that his company could merge with Sprint. They're the #3 and #4 wireless companies in the U.S.

He told the Verge: "So in the future structure of the industry, there are a number of people who think, well, it may make sense from a scale standpoint to consider the coming together of T-Mobile and Sprint."

The backstory: Softbank, the Japanese owner of Sprint, has been looking for a way to join forces with T-Mobile for some time. When the idea was floated in 2014, Obama-era antitrust regulators signaled they were dead-set against reducing the number of national wireless carriers.

Why now: The renewed rumors stem from speculation that Trump's administration is more open to the marriage. Softbank has already curried favor with Trump by promising to bring 5,000 jobs back to the U.S. from overseas, which a Wall Street analysts saw as a sign that the company was greasing the wheels for a merger review.

Go deeper

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Tear gas is fired as police clash with protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minneapolis police used tear gas during clashes with protesters demanding justice Tuesday night for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody, according to multiple news reports.

Driving the news: The FBI is investigating Floyd's death after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe. Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration at the intersection where Floyd died, per the Guardian.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans Tuesday to make wearing face coverings mandatory statewide for most people over the age of 10 when inside public places like retailers, on public transportation and government buildings. He announced the measure, effective Friday, as coronavirus case numbers increased to 39,342.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan is preparing a second coronavirus stimulus package worth $1.1 trillion, or about 40% of the country's gross domestic product, Reuters first reported Tuesday night.

Zoom in: The new measure will be funded by government bonds and will include "a raft of loan guarantees and private sector contributions," per Bloomberg.