RALEIGH--Late Friday night, the Federal Energy Regulator Commission tentatively approved the merger between Duke and Progress Energies.
It will create the one of the largest utility companies in the country, with more than seven million customers in six states.
A 61-page order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was received just before 9p.m. Friday. It's filled with legal lingo and electric company jargon.
The Federal Commission has tentatively approved the 17.6-billion dollar merger between Duke and Progress Energies, but this isn't a finalized deal.
The companies have to agree to some changes and guidelines required by the commission, which has to happen within the next 15 days.
In addition, North and South Carolina regulators now have to sign off on the deal as well. The two companies have been trying to get this approved in time to close to the deal by July 1st.
Duke and Progress energies issued statements Friday night saying they're analyzing the commission's orders.
They said in part, "... we continue to have constructive discussions with consumer advocates in the Carolinas. we will work to secure final merger-related approvals from the NCUC and SC PSCin the weeks ahead so that we can move forward with delivering on the significant benefits of the merger to our customers."
The $26 billion deal has been in the works for nearly a year and a half.
Hear analysis from N.C. State economist Mike Walden
News 14: Federal regulators tentatively approve Progress-Duke merger
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