Jan 26, 2017

Verizon reportedly exploring Charter merger

Kim Hart, author of Cities

WSJ reports this morning that Verizon is exploring a combination with Charter Communications. Details are sparse.

Big if true: This kind of merger would bring together the largest U.S. wireless company (not to mention a major broadband provider) with the country's second-largest broadband provider. Charter Communications last year merged with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, making it a powerhouse provider of TV and internet.

What will Trump say? This type of deal would need to be reviewed by antitrust enforcers at both the FCC and DOJ. New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai generally favors a hands-off approach to merger reviews if the companies can show how deals serve the "public interest." Trump Attorney General pick Sen. Jeff Sessions indicated the DOJ should weigh big mergers on antitrust grounds rather than "some other discreet agenda that's not reasonably connected to the merger itself."

Still: Trump has said he's wary of consolidation in the media and telecom industries, and still opposes AT&T's proposed takeover of Time Warner Inc. In interview with Axios last week, Trump said:

I think we need all the competition we can have in that industry. It's a very important industry. — Donald Trump

Verizon and Charter Communications declined to comment.

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The aftermath of George Floyd's death: Everything you need to know

A mural outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, near where George Floyd was killed in an encouner with police. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr denounced what he described as "planned" violence from "far-left extremist groups" on Saturday, without citing any evidence, in response to the U.S. cities that erupted in protest over the killing of George Floyd,

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Updated 36 mins ago - Science

Live updates: SpaceX attempts to launch NASA astronauts Saturday

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad. Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time.

Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch — will be the first time a private company has launched people to orbit. It will also bring crewed launches back to the U.S. for the first time in nine years, since the end of the space shuttle program.

Follow along below for live updates throughout the day...

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.