August 28, 2015—The D.C. Public Service Commission was the last hurdle for the $6.8 billion takeover of Pepco Holdings by Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. The merger had already been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the states of Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. The D.C. Commission was the final entity to take up the proposed merger.
The District of Columbia's PSC voted unanimously against the merger. Commission Chairman Betty Ann Kane explained that "the public policy of the District is that the local electric company should focus solely on providing safe, reliable and affordable distribution service to District residences, businesses and institutions. The evidence in record is that sale and change in control proposed in the merger would move us in the opposite direction."
The mayor of D.C. echoed the commission's reasoning, stating that, "Moving forward, we want to ensure that D.C. utility ratepayers receive quality service, that we maintain and grow jobs in the District, and that we keep D.C. on our continued path toward sustainability."
Exelon and Pepco jointly released a statement soon after the PSC's decision saying they were "disappointed with the Commission's decision" They counter that they do believe that the proposed merger is in the public's interest. They also state that they will review their options and respond once they've decided their next step. Exelon and Pepco have 30 days to ask the commission to reconsider.
For more background on how the merger fared in other states, see the June 2015 edition of the LIHEAP Clearinghouse News Bulletin.
Sources: D.C. Public Service Commission, LIHEAP Clearinghouse Newsletter, Exelon Press Release, Media Sources