Federal regulators in Washington said today they would reconsider the utility merger application filed by Progress Energy and Duke Energy.
The two North Carolina power companies, which want to combine into the nation's largest electric utility, had asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its Sept. 30 order. The order said the companies must address concerns that their merger could lead them manipulate electricity prices in North Carolina.
Charlotte-based Duke and Raleigh-based Progress have since suggested such measures, but they also asked the FERC to reconsider their original merger application.
As a result, the FERC is now reviewing two merger applications: the original and the modified version.
In a two-paragraph order, the FERC summarily granted the utilities' request for reconsideration. The ruling was a formality and widely expected.
The companies are hoping for quick approval from the feds and state regulators this year.
The merger is widely expected to be approved, but the year-end deadline is slipping away as the regulatory merger reviews have become mired in complications. It's not clear if further concessions could be required by federal regulators or state regulators to appease monopoly concerns and other issues.
Despite the uncertainties, both companies are readying plans to eliminate 2,000 positions and eliminate Progress's corporate headquarters in downtown Raleigh.