WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) — Exelon Corp. and Constellation Energy Group Inc. need to shed three electricity plants to go forward with a merger, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.
The Justice Department said it filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in Washington to block the $7.9 billion merger on antitrust grounds, stating in a release that the deal “as originally proposed, would substantially lessen competition for wholesale electricity, ultimately increasing electricity prices for millions of consumers in the mid-Atlantic region.”
“Competition in wholesale electricity markets is vital to the economic well-being of consumers and businesses. These divestitures will preserve that critical competition for the benefit of electricity customers throughout the mid-Atlantic,” said Sharis Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division.
The lawsuit claims the merger, as proposed, would create an electric company with total assets of $72 billion and annual revenues of $33 billion. That would allow the merged companies to control between 22 percent and 28 percent of the generating capacity in an area that includes the District of Columbia, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and parts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
The Justice Department, however, said the companies could resolve the complaint by shedding two power-generating plants two in Anne Arundel County, Md. — Brandon Shores and H.A. Wagner — and the C.P. Crane plant in Baltimore County, Md.