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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The nation’s third largest electric utility, Duke Energy, announced today it’s gonna buy Progress Energy for about $14 billion. The combined companies would become the largest power company in the country. But energy regulators have to approve.
From Washington, here’s Marketplace’s John Dimsdale.
JOHN DIMSDALE: Together, Duke and Progress would become a huge electric utility stretching from Ohio to Florida. Their deal continues a consolidation trend in the utility industry. There were eight mergers last year. Rod Kuckro is the chief editor of Platts Daily Electricity News. He says regulators usually set conditions on such deals like forcing merging utilities to sell power plants that are too close together.
RED KUCKRO: Or they extract concessions having to do with maintaining employee levels for some period of time or giving back concessions to ratepayers in terms of lower rates.
The deal makers say customers will benefit when the two companies combine their fuel purchasing power … and from more efficient operations. That will probably mean some job cuts. Duke got rid of 1,500 jobs when it took over Cincinnati-based Cinergy in 2006.
In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.