On June 6, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) released a Notice of Proposed Communications with the Department of Justice (“DOJ”). This action was prompted by the potential merger of Duke Energy Corporation and Progress Energy, Inc. (see January 13, 2011 edition of the WER). The Duke/Progress merger would create the nation’s largest electric utility.
The Commission’s current regulations require consent from all parties in a proceeding before communicating with the DOJ’s Antitrust Division and DOJ’s Commission Advisory staff. Any protesting party or intervenor who objects to such communication has seven days from June 6 to object. All parties that do not object within seven days are deemed to have consented to the proposed communication.