Allegheny-DQE deal gains in Md., not in Pa.

MARYLAND WATCH

March 27, 1998

Maryland utility regulators have approved Allegheny Energy Inc.'s planned acquisition of Pittsburgh's DQE Inc.

But the $2.6 billion deal remains stuck in Pennsylvania, where two administrative law judges on Wednesday recommended an 18-month postponement for further study of the agreement's impact on electricity competition.

The Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission will consider the judges' recommendations, and a final decision is expected in late May. The companies had hoped to complete the deal by May 1.

Allegheny Energy serves 1.4 million residential and business customers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Ohio. DQE, which operates as Duquesne Light, has 580,000 customers, all in Pennsylvania.

The Maryland agreement -- negotiated by the company, its major commercial customers, consumer advocates and the PSC -- would result in a $4.4 million rate reduction for Allegheny's 196,000 customers in Central and Western Maryland.

That would amount to a $1.04-a-month reduction in the average residential customer's electric bill.

Pub Date: 3/27/98

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