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Killea Urges Lawmakers to Back Merger Bill

Assemblywoman Lucy Killea (D-San Diego) Thursday asked local legislators to support a measure that would prohibit corporate mergers or acquisitions if the resulting company would have a monopoly.

Killea, at a press conference in San Diego, said the proposed legislation would empower the state attorney general to review the antitrust and competition issues raised by Southern California Edison’s proposed merger with San Diego Gas & Electric.

The measure would “make transactions like the Edison merger illegal if the merger would result in one company controlling a trade and pushing out all competition from smaller companies,” Killea said.

Assemblyman Lloyd Connelly (D-Sacramento) introduced the bill after a recent California Supreme Court ruling prohibited the attorney general rom reviewing antitrust and competition issues created by proposed business mergers and acquisitions.

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Edison previously had lobbied Senate members for an amendment that excluded Edison’s merger with SDG&E; from the proposed legislation. However, State Sen. Larry Sterling (R-San Diego) garnered enough support to delete that amendment.

Edison spokesman Lewis Phelps on Thursday described the legislation as “a phony issue . . . utilities by their nature are already monopolies and as monopolies they are regulated by the PUC.”

“The bill would create a duplicate review of what’s already being done by the PUC and the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission,” Phelps said. “We don’t think that dragging the merger through a review process twice is appropriate.”


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