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House Dems Back Charter-TWC

WASHINGTON — In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, four Democratic House members from diverse regions have weighed in in support of the Charter Communications-Time Warner Cable merger.

The FCC is approaching its 180-day shot clock on the deal (Thursday was 179), and is expected to circulate an approval with conditions late this week or early next. That would almost certainly mean the DOJ was OK, too, since it coordinates reviews.

In the letter, dated Wednesday (March 23), Reps. Marc Veasey (D-Tex.), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) told Attorney General Lorretta Lynch and FCC chairman Tom Wheeler they should consider the “significant” commitments Charter has made, including on creating jobs, offering high-speed broadband (at 30 Megabits per second) to low-income communities, and its policies of no data caps or modem-rental fees.

The lawmakers said they are fine with the FCC scrutinizing the merger carefully, but urged it to give credit to Charter's diversity commitments and others, saying that combining with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks (also part of the deal), would only “continue to raise standards across the country.”