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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The CEOs of T-Mobile and Sprint argued on an analyst call that their just-announced merger would create jobs and boost America's position in the global race toward 5G wireless.

Why it matters: It sounds like their regulatory pitch will align with Trump administration rhetoric.

The big picture: Regulators have to decide whether they're all right with the prospect of only three major wireless providers in the United States. T-Mobile and Spring argue that the industry has undergone significant changes, as telecoms get into new industries like pay television and non-wireless providers get into the mobile space.

  • Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said that this is the "merger that regulators are looking for."
  • Company officials argued that the deal could result in cheaper prices at AT&T and Verizon.
  • The CEOs have already spoke with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the agency's other commissioners.

The details:

  • Executives stressed the deal would help America outpace China and others in 5G wireless development. "The combination of the 600 megahertz [in wireless spectrum] and other assets that we have are critical building blocks of what America needs to deploy to take its rightful place," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere.
  • Many in D.C. worry about China outpacing America in 5G development. Earlier this year, a now-departed senior official in the National Security Council circulated a plan to nationalize a 5G network.
  • The company's project job growth in retail and customer service operations, with an emphasis on rural areas.

Regulators haven't always been comfortable with consolidation of this kind, and there will be plenty of critics this time around.

  • "This combination will not only result in less choice for consumers, it will provide greater incentive for the 3 remaining companies to act in concert," said Gigi Sohn, who served as a senior staffer for the last FCC chairman, who was pleased when Sprint dropped a potential T-Mobile merger in 2014.
  • Both the FCC and the Justice Department declined to comment.

More: Sprint, T-Mobile agree to merge to form $146 billion company

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Biden gets COVID-19 booster shot on live television

President Biden received a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine booster shot on live television on Monday, while also urging Americans to get vaccinated.

Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week recommended Pfizer booster shots for millions of people, including those 65 years and older and individuals at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

John Hinckley, who shot Reagan, wins unconditional release

John Hinckley Jr. sitting on the back seat of a car in 1981. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday approved the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate former President Reagan in 1981.

State of play: U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington ruled that Hinckley can be freed from all court supervision in 2022 if he remains mentally stable and continues to follow rules that were imposed on him after he was released from a Washington mental health facility in 2016 to live in Virginia, AP reports.

Rep. Karen Bass launches run for Los Angeles mayor

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) on Monday launched her bid for mayor of Los Angeles.

Why it matters: Bass is a high-profile member of Congress. The former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, she was considered as a potential running mate to President Joe Biden and was a lead negotiator in the recently-ended talks on police reform. Should Bass win the mayoral election, she would become the first female mayor in L.A. history.