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AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz

T-Mobile, which has risen to become the nation's third-largest wireless provider, is buying digital cable startup Layer3 TV to launch a nationwide digital internet-TV service in 2018, the company announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: T-Mobile joins AT&T and Verizon in launching its own video service, creating another challenger to traditional cable and satelite TV providers, which have been losing pay-TV subscribers as they migrate towards cheaper, digital options.

  • T-Mobile has been pushing to stay compeitive in the race for wireless consumers for years through partnerships with Netflix and unlimited data offerings. The company discussed a merger with Sprint earlier this year, but talks fell through after neither company could decide which entity would take majority stake in the merger.
  • The announcement falls in line with T-Mobile's pitch that it is a more consumer-friendly option than big cable proviers like AT&T and Verizon. Layer3's bundle does not look the same as some of the other "skinny bundles" out there, like AT&T's DirectTV or Dish' Sling. It's pricer, but offers more digital HD channels (275), as well as high-end DVR capabitilies and access to other digital apps.
  • T-Mobile executives also stressed how much it values relationships with content providers, saying there are "no holes" in its relationships with content providers on a call with reporters and investors Wednesday. (Pay-TV providers and TV networks have been increasingly getting in fights over the cost of programming, which affects consumers' access to programming.)

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
27 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Laurene Powell Jobs' $3.5 billion climate campaign

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, is investing $3.5 billion in her new climate-action group, the Waverley Street Foundation — all to be spent in 10 years, as a way to show urgency on the issue.

  • Then the group will sunset.

The big picture: The foundation "will focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change," an official tells Axios.

R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Singer R. Kelly on Monday was found guilty of racketeering and eight counts of violating an anti-sex trafficking law, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Sexual misconduct allegations have surrounded R. Kelly's career, including a child sexual abuse image case in 2008 where he was acquitted. Multiple other victims have come forward to speak about the abuse in recent years.

German elections: After close result, jockeying to replace Merkel begins

Data: Preliminary results from German Federal Returning Officer; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) pulled off a come-from-behind victory in Sunday’s elections, 10 seats ahead of the Christian Democrats (CDU), which failed to finish top for the first time in 16 years.

State of play: SPD leader Olaf Scholz has said he’ll seek to form a government, but so too has Armin Laschet, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as CDU leader.