The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia has denied Exelon Corp’s $6.8-billion bid for Pepco Holdings Inc. The regulators said the companies had not proven that the proposed merger was in the public interest.
According to a Reuters report, the three-member commission was the final regulatory hurdle for the deal, which was announced in April 2014. The four other states required to approve the deal had voted in favor of the merger.
Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings Inc. issued the following statement in response to the decision on the companies’ proposed merger.
“We are disappointed with the Commission’s decision and believe it fails to recognize the benefits of the merger to the District of Columbia and its residents and businesses. We continue to believe our proposal is in the public interest and provides direct immediate and long-term benefits to customers, enhances reliability and preserves our role as a community partner. We will review our options with respect to this decision and will respond once that process is complete.”
The companies have 30 days to ask the commission to reconsider its order. If the commission rejects an application for reconsideration, the companies would then have the option of appealing the decision to the D.C. Court of Appeals. The companies may also choose to submit another application.
Opponents of the deal have said it would raise rates for consumers while limiting growth of renewable power in the region, Reuters reported. "The proposed acquisition would have been a substantial step backwards in the District's efforts to move toward more sustainable electricity generation and greater reliance on local, renewable energy," said Power DC, a coalition of environmentalists and public advocacy groups.
Before the D.C. rejection, the proposed transaction had won approval from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.