Overnight Tech: Dems concerned about Charter-Time Warner Cable merger

LEDE: Democratic concerns over the Charter-Time Warner Cable deal are growing.

"It is critical that the DOJ and FCC thoroughly address all of the potential harms a Charter-Time Warner Cable-Bright House Networks deal would bring to the telecommunications marketplace and consumers and act to prevent any possible harm," five progressive senators wrote in a letter delivered to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Thursday.

It was signed by Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyMarkey challenges Democratic Senate campaign opponents to climate change debate Kennedy launches primary challenge against Markey Markey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge MORE (D-Mass.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenGOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? The Memo: Times correction gives GOP lifeline in latest Kavanaugh controversy MORE (D-Minn.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll The polls are asking the wrong question Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (I-Vt.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Microsoft to provide free updates for voting systems running Windows 7 through 2020 Interior watchdog investigating political appointees' review of FOIA requests MORE (D-Ore.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll Warren avoids attacks while building momentum Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (D-Mass.). Sanders is fighting former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president The Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Missing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani MORE for the Democratic nomination for president.

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In it, they raise concerns that the post-merger version of Charter would, along with Comcast, have a duopoly over the cable market. That's a key argument of the public interest groups that oppose the deal. The lawmakers also raise concerns about the merger's effect on video services and ask whether Charter's debt would make it impossible for the firm to fulfill the commitments they've made as part of the merger.

In a statement, Charter noted Netflix's support for the merger as well as backing from multicultural organizations and programmers. "These parties have taken a close and honest look at the benefits of these transactions and have all come to the same conclusion: these transactions are in the public interest," the company said in its statement.

OTHERS ASK FOR CLOSE REVIEW: The progressives' message comes a week after Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeZuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers to discuss 'future internet regulation' Hillicon Valley: Election security looms over funding talks | Antitrust enforcers in turf war | Facebook details new oversight board | Apple fights EU tax bill MORE (R-Utah) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharMSNBC 'Climate in Crisis' special draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot The two most important mental health reforms the Trump administration should consider Sanders searches for answers amid Warren steamroller MORE (D-Minn.) sent Lynch and Wheeler a letter asking them to "closely review" the transaction, which would combine Charter with Time Warner Cable as well as smaller operator Bright House Networks. Both messages come more than halfway through the non-binding "shot clock" that governs the process.

APPLE EXPECTS ROBUST SUPPORT IN COURT: During a conference call announcing Apple's new motion to oppose a government order to help law enforcement unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, an Apple executive said the company expects robust filings in favor of Apple's position. Just hours earlier, Microsoft announced that it would be filing a brief next week, while other companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter are reportedly also planning filings. 

'GOVT-OS' WOULD TAKE WEEKS: In the company's court filing, Apple estimated that it would take 6-10 Apple engineers anywhere from two weeks to a month to create the software that the FBI requested, which it has dubbed "GovtOs" -- a system what would override some security features on the iPhone's lock screen so that the FBI could try an unlimited amount of number combinations to unlock phones. 

PRES CANDIDATES SIGN ONTO NET NEUTRALITY REPEAL BILL: GOP Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Liberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' Trump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign MORE (Fla.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzState Department's top arms control official leaving Sanders NASA plan is definitely Earth first Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition MORE (Texas) were among a group of eight that signed onto a new bill that would repeal the FCC's net neutrality rules and prevent the agency from writing similar ones in the future.

FCC #TBT: Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the adoption of the FCC's net neutrality rules. The rules, of course, have been challenged in court and the subject of countless op-eds and speeches in Washington since they were adopted.

ON TAP: 

At 10 a.m., the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on 3D printing.

At noon, Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai will speak about net neutrality rules at the Heritage Foundation. 

At noon, the Washington Institute will speak with Facebook's Monika Bickert about Internet security in the age of the Islamic State

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

To mark the one-year anniversary of passage of net neutrality rules, a group of eight Republicans introduced legislation to repeal the regulations. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is ordering his company's employees to stop crossing out the phrase "Black Lives Matter" on the company's famous signature wall.

Former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderEric Holder says Trump is subject to prosecution after leaving office Eric Holder: Democrats 'have to understand' that 'borders mean something' Trump lawyers ask judge to toss out Dems' tax return lawsuit MORE used the birth name of basketball icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as an alias for his official Justice Department email account, according to new documents revealed Thursday.

A House panel on Thursday approved a bill that would temporarily keep small businesses exempt from some net neutrality rules.

Political upstart Ro Khanna tried to paint eight-term Rep. Mike Honda as ineffective and out of touch with his Silicon Valley district in 2014. Honda survived the challenge, but only barely.