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Recode Daily: AT&T can buy Time Warner. Let the media megamergers begin!

Plus, inside Trump’s new world order; why is Twitter stock at a three-year high?; Apple’s AirPods as an omen of cultural change.

AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson
AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson provided an overview of developments in the AT&T and Time Warner merger on November 20, 2017, in New York City.
Amir Levy / Getty Images

A federal judge ruled that AT&T can buy Time Warner — and didn’t apply any restrictions or conditions to his decision. That clears the way for other “vertical” mergers. Next up, sometime today: Comcast will formally announce a new bid for the 21st Century Fox assets Disney has already agreed to buy. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

Twitter’s stock is at a three-year high after being a relative train wreck for years. Yesterday it closed at $43.49 — up 155 percent from a year ago. What is going on? [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Tesla is laying off 9 percent of its workforce. Elon Musk said it was a “difficult, but necessary” restructuring that would help the company turn a profit, and wouldn’t affect its production of its mass-market Model 3 cars. [Washington Post]

E-scooter startup Bird is seeking a $2 billion valuation, just weeks after it raised $150 million at a $1 billion valuation and only three months after raising at a $300 million valuation. One possible investment thesis: Big ride-hail players like Didi, Lyft or Uber will soon pay up to acquire Bird. The concept of dockless scooters is one of the purest manifestations of what analyst Ben Thompson referred to in 2016 as “Everything as a Service.” [Dan Primack / Axios]

After pressure from Amazon, Seattle’s city council has voted to repeal its contentious so-called “head tax,” less than a month after unanimously passing the tax, which would have taken $275 per full-time employee from companies generating over $20 million in revenue, including Amazon and Starbucks. The tax was earmarked for homeless services and affordable housing. [Bryan Menegus / Gizmodo]

Following a two-month suspension, Chinese telecom firm ZTE will resume trading tomorrow after agreeing to pay up to $1.4 billion in penalties to the U.S. government, radically overhaul its management, open itself to U.S. inspections of its sites and improve public disclosure of its supply chain. [Sijia Jiang / Reuters]

Are Apple’s AirPods an omen of cultural change? The company’s slick, wireless earbuds work great, but they may foreshadow startling changes to the social fabric. [Ian Bogost / The Atlantic]

Recode Presents ...

So AT&T can buy Time Warner. What’s next? Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka will be answering your questions about media mergermania on this week’s Too Embarrassed to Ask! Tweet your Qs with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed or email them to today.

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