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In a 2-1 vote, the Washington, D.C. Public Service Commission has approved the $6.8 billion merger of Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings Inc. after a series of rejections, negotiations and counter-offers.
With approvals already secured in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and with FERC, this decision paves the way for the creation of the largest utility by customer base in the U.S.
The PUC had rejected the Exelon-Pepco merger deal three times before this approval. The approval marks one of the final steps in the merger deal, which has been in development since it was first proposed in 2014.
After the second rejection, regulators offered a revised settlement that would allow the merger to proceed. But Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city officials said that settlement took away important protections for ratepayers and refused to support it.
Previously, the commission said there is a conflict of interest inherent in putting the District’s power distribution under the control of an out-of-state utility.
The combined utility businesses would serve about 10 million customers and have a rate base of about $26 billion.
The combination of the companies will bring together Exelon’s three electric and gas utilities — BGE, ComEd and PECO — and Pepco Holdings’ three electric and gas utilities — Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power and Pepco — to create one of the largest electric and gas utilities in the country.