DC regulator approves Exelon's takeover of Pepco

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Washington, D.C., regulator approved Exelon's nearly $7 billion takeover of rival utility Pepco, but the deal will only go through if Exelon agrees to the regulator's terms.

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission said Wednesday that Exelon has 30 days to agree to the way it wants more than $70 million in payments to be used for customer discounts and energy conservation.

Exelon said it is reviewing the order.

A combination of Exelon and Pepco would create the largest electric utility company in the U.S., according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Exelon first offered to buy Pepco nearly two years ago.

Chicago-based Exelon owns ComEd in Illinois and PECO in Pennsylvania. Pepco, based in Washington, powers homes through Atlantic City Electric in New Jersey and Delmarva Power in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Together, the companies said they would have about 10 million customers.

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission is the last regulator Exelon needs approval from to cinch the deal. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and commissions in four states have already approved it.

Shares of Pepco Holdings Inc. soared 27 percent to close at $26.93 Wednesday. Exelon Corp. shares slipped less than 1 percent to close at $34.72.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser released a statement in response to the Public Service Commission's decision on the Pepco-Exelon merger:

"It appears the Public Service Commission favors government and commercial ratepayers over DC residents. Instead of a three year rate increase reprieve that we negotiated, it appears that DC residents will be hit with a rate increase as soon as this summer."