If regulators approve the merger plan put forth by AT&T and Time Warner, they'll be allowing one of the world's largest telecoms to acquire one of the world's largest content providers. That could tempt AT&T to exempt Time Warner from data caps and other restrictions, effectively violating net neutrality. And at least one senator – Ron Wyden (D – OR) – is sounding the alarm.

“I am deeply concerned that if AT&T acquires Time Warner's content, the new mega-company will have incentives to prioritize its own content over content created by small business, independent artists or by its rivals,” Wyden wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Would that be legal? Well, sort of. The method Wyden is concerned about is called “zero-rating,” and it involves companies agreeing to not count certain types of content against data caps. The FCC has not banned it outright, but it does examine incidents of zero-rating on a case-by-case basis.

So while Wyden is right that a new merged AT&T and Time Warner would have incentives to zero-rate Time Warner content (like HBO) on AT&T networks, this isn't something that AT&T-Time Warner could do without the FCC getting some say.