The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission won’t update its policies for reviewing utility mergers, rejecting a looser definition of market power adopted by two antitrust agencies and backed by companies.
FERC decided today to retain existing merger-analysis guidelines, rather than follow the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission policies issued in 2010.
The two agencies “were actually loosening up their guidelines,” FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff told reporters after the commission’s monthly meeting in Washington. “We didn’t think it was appropriate to loosen them up.”
The regulator is weighing mergers that would create two of the largest U.S. utilities. The commission on Dec. 14 rejected Duke Energy Corp. (DUK)’s plan to ease competition concerns posed by the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company’s proposed takeover ofProgress Energy Inc. (PGN) of Raleigh. The proposed union of Exelon Corp. (EXC) of Chicagoand Constellation Energy Group Inc. (CEG) of Baltimore, Maryland, also is pending at the agency.
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