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North Dakota OK's Primergy Merger

Fortnightly Magazine - September 15 1996

The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved the Primergy merger between Northern States Power Co. and Wisconsin Energy Corp.

As an important factor in its decision, the commission noted that after the merger, Primergy plans to reduce North Dakota electric rates by 1.5 percent and gas rates by 1.25 percent, with a moratorium on increases until 2001.

The PSC acknowledged that it favored competition and customer choice for electric service, but rejected the simple notion that "helping merged companies become more competitive is a legitimate reason for granting a merger application." Re Northern States Power Co., Case No. PU-400-95-340, June 26, 1996 (N.D.P.S.C.). t

Phillip S. Cross is an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.

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