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Idaho Commission Rejects Avista-Hydro One Merger

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Avista
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The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has denied a request by Avista to be acquired by the Canadian transmission company Hydro One.

The order released today [Thursday] comes a month after Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission ruled against the acquisition.

The Idaho order says the transaction would violate Gem State law. It states that Avista would be transferring all of its assets, including those in Idaho, to a company that is controlled, not by the utility, but by politicians in Ontario. It cites the move by Ontario’s premier to replace Hydro One’s leadership soon after he was elected last June. That, says the order, contradicts a previous claim by former Hydro One CEO Mayo Schmidt that the utility’s business would not be influenced by provincial leadership.

The commission has given the parties three weeks to petition for a reconsideration.

Avista and Hydro One have already asked Washington authorities to review the order issued in December.

Leaders of the two companies say they’re disappointed by the decision and are reviewing the order before deciding what next steps to take.
 

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