Photo: Chuck Kennedy/Axios

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said at an Axios event on Wednesday that he saw the logic behind T-Mobile's planned purchase of Sprint, while also acknowledging the importance of competition in wireless technology.

Why it matters: Top executives from the two companies will be grilled by the Democratic-led House Energy and Commerce Committee about the deal later on Wednesday morning.

What he's saying:

  • "Well, there are certainly some synergies in that particular merger that I think make it make sense for those companies," he said, when asked about the deal.
  • But he also said that it's "always nice to have more competitors" when asked about the importance of competition as advanced wireless technology rolls out.

The big picture: The deal, which would reduce the number of national wireless providers from four to three, has drawn criticism from public interest advocates, some of its competitors and lawmakers.

  • The companies, meanwhile, have crafted a lobbying campaign arguing that the deal will help them compete on fifth generation wireless with the larger AT&T and Verizon.

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