*By Alisha Haridasani* In their third attempt at a merger in four years, T-Mobile and Sprint are appealing directly to the White House for approval of their $26.5 billion deal by emphasizing priorities that are important to President Trump and other lawmakers in Washington. “We can show you, with specificity, that on day one there will be greater jobs, there will be lower prices, broader service, competition in rural America, broadband alternatives, and a 5G network that the nation doesn’t have,” said the T-Mobile CEO John Legere in an interview Monday with Cheddar’s Hope. He also said that Trump has "a part in this deal," and that the latest tax cuts the administration pushed through add a "great amount of value in this deal." The wireless networks announced their agreement to merge on Sunday; if the deal is approved by regulators, it will create the country's second-biggest wireless carrier with about 100 million subscribers. It would operate under the T-Mobile brand. T-Mobile and Sprint's last plan to merge was scuttled in November 2017 after the Federal Communications Commission expressed concerns over decreased competition that could result from a smaller mobile market. Verizon is the top wireless provider, with about 116 million customers through the end of last year, and AT&T is second with 93 million. T-Mobile, the third largest carrier with about 59 million customers, and Sprint, with 41 million, would become the new No. 2 carrier if the merger goes through. The Sprint and T-Mobile chief executives have been touting the deal's potential to create jobs, boost competitiveness, and speed development of a 5G network vital to the country's digital infrastructure. Though these ambitions align with some of the Trump administration's priorities, some investors are still worried that those arguments may not convince federal regulators. Shares of Sprint and T-mobile were down at midday. Wall Street's worries are exacerbated by the Justice Department’s legal battle to block a $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner. “We’ve listened to FCC Commissioner Pai, who said from day one ‘I’m willing to look at a new transaction with an open mind,’ which is all we ask,” said the Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. Over 70 percent of Americans now own a smartphone and have broadband, according to [Pew Research](http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/12/evolution-of-technology/), with increasing demands on carriers that offer unlimited data plans. For the full interview, [click here](https://cheddar.com/videos/ceos-of-t-mobile-and-sprint-discuss-merger).

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