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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The states trying to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger in court got a boost this week from T-Mobile's home state as the litigation heads into closing arguments on Wednesday.

Driving the news: Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in a court filing this week, called out the Justice Department for attempting to "undermine the states' important and independent role in enforcing antitrust laws" in its efforts to convince the court to OK the deal.

  • The DOJ and FCC in their own December filing told the court that blocking the deal would override and undermine the findings they made when they reviewed and approved the merger last year.
  • Ferguson, who has not joined the attorneys general suing to stop the merger, said that states and the federal government should both have a say in antitrust enforcement. He took issue with the notion that "if DOJ has taken a position on an antitrust matter, the states have no authority to reach a contrary conclusion."

What's next: Closing arguments began at 10 a.m. in a New York federal court Wednesday. New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is leading the case alongside California's Xavier Becerra, is expected to attend.

  • Separately, a D.C. court is reviewing the settlement the Justice Department (and several other states, including Sprint's home state of Kansas) reached with T-Mobile and Sprint in approving the deal.
  • The D.C. court late last week extended the settlement review process by accepting briefs until Feb. 7.
  • The court review process is typically a rubber stamp exercise. The move to gather additional feedback is "not a good sign" and casts further uncertainty around T-Mobile and Sprint's ability to quickly close their deal, LightShed analysts Walt Piecyk and Joe Galone said in a note.

Go deeper: Trump administration offers a new guide to vertical mergers

Go deeper

Trump set to appear at Pennsylvania GOP hearing on voter fraud claims

President Trumpat the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is due to join his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday at a Republican-led state Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing to discuss alleged election irregularities.

Why it matters: This would be his first trip outside of the DMV since Election Day and comes shortly after GSA ascertained the results, formally signing off on a transition to President-elect Biden.

Scoop: Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
10 hours ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.