Power struggles in the land of the ‘elephants’

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The proposed merger of Exelon and Pepco is a cautionary reminder of persistent tension between innovation and businesses of scale.

Exelon is a nuclear energy giant. Pepco powers Washington, D.C. and a number of mid-Atlantic states, and has a less-than-stellar reputation for customer service due to its slow response to natural disasters and caller hold times longer than the life spans of certain invertebrates. A merger of these two companies appeared likely as one by one, state power commissions approved the deal until the last of them — the Public Utilities Commission of the District of Columbia — said, at least for now, “no way, no how.”

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