The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved a merger agreement between Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and Toledo Edison Co. The utilities, wholly-owned subsidiaries of the same holding company (Centerior Energy Corp.), argued that the PUC had no statutory authority to review the details of the merger and should either dismiss or approve the application. In asserting jurisdiction and approving the merger without a hearing, the PUC found that the agreement would give the new company's management the flexibility needed to make cost-saving administrative and organizational changes unattainable under existing affiliation agreements.
The PUC reserved judgment, however, on whether to equalize rates among customers of both operating utilities, and directed them to continue to maintain separate books, revenue requirements, and rates. In a separate concurring opinion, PUC chairman Craig Glazer cautioned that it was unclear how much either company would save as a result of the merger. He added that the merger was "but a small part" of the type of actions needed to resolve the competitive pressures facing both utilities. Re Authority to Merge the Toledo Edison Co. into the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co., Case No. 94-1150-EL-UNC, Dec. 1, 1994 (Ohio P.U.C.).
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