Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Merger Monday is back with a vengeance, with more than $72 billion worth of deals announced in the telecom, energy, retail and real estate sectors.

Bigger picture: Global M&A activity is up 56% from this time last year while U.S. M&A is up 29%, per Thomson Reuters.

  • T-Mobile and Sprint yesterday agreed to a $26 billion tie-up, which would create America's second-largest wireless carrier (leapfrogging Verizon, still behind AT&T).
  • Marathon Petroleum agreed to buy Andeavor for $23.3 billion, which would create the largest U.S. oil refiner by capacity (overtaking Valero Energy).
  • Marriott Vacations Worldwide agreed to buy ILG for $4.7 billion, which Bloomberg says creates "the largest luxury brand for timeshare vacation resorts."
  • Prologis agreed to acquire DCT Industrial Trust for $8.4 billion in stock, putting even more distance between Prologis and lesser rivals in the global warehouse and distribution center market (a market that's surging in the world of Amazon and broader e-commerce).
  • Sainsbury's agreed to merge with Walmart's Asda in a $10 billion tie-up that would create Britain's largest supermarket operator.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 30,241,377 — Total deaths: 947,266— Total recoveries: 20,575,416Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 6,681,251 — Total deaths: 197,763 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 91,546,598Map.
  3. Politics: Trump vs. his own administration on virus response.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Anxious days for airline workers as mass layoffs loom

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, during a Sept. 9 protest outside the Capitol. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of anxious airline employees, who face mass reductions when the government's current payroll support program expires on Sept. 30.

Where it stands: Airline CEOs met Thursday with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who said President Trump would support an additional $25 billion from Congress to extend the current aid package through next March.

House Democrats ask DOJ watchdog to probe Durham's Trump-Russia investigation

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynsky/AFP via Getty Images

Four Democratic House committee chairs on Friday asked the Justice Department's inspector general to launch an "emergency investigation" into whether Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham, his appointee, are taking actions that could "improperly influence the upcoming presidential election."

Catch up quick: Last year, Barr tapped Durham to conduct a sweeping investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia probe, after he and President Trump claimed that it was unjustified and a "hoax."