Regulating Mergers and Acquisitions of U.S. Electric Utilities: Industry Concentration and Corporate Complication
What happens when electric utility monopolies pursue their acquisition interests—undisciplined by competition, and insufficiently disciplined by the regulators responsible for replicating competition? Since the mid-1980s, mergers and acquisitions of U.S. electric utilities have halved the number of local, independent utilities. Mostly debt-financed, these transactions have converted retiree-suitable investments into subsidiaries of geographically scattered conglomerates. Written by one of the U.S.’s leading regulatory thinkers, this book combines legal, accounting, economic and financial analysis of the 30-year march of U.S. electricity mergers with insights from the dynamic field of behavioral economics.
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- Regulating Mergers and Acquisitions of U.S. Electric Utilities: Industry Concentration and Corporate Complication
- Extended contents
- About the author
- Authors note: Why write a book on electricity mergers?
- Table of legal authorities
- PART I: The transactions: sales of public franchises for private gain, undisciplined by competition - producing a concentrated, complicated industry no one intended
- Chapter 1: Diverse strategies, common purpose: selling public franchises for private gain
- Chapter 2: Missing from utility merger markets: competitive discipline
- Chapter 3: The structural result: concentration and complication no one intended
- PART II: The harms: economic waste, misallocation of gain, competitive distortion, customer risks and costs
- Chapter 4: Suboptimal couplings cause economic waste
- Chapter 5: Merging parties divert franchise value from the customers who created it
- Chapter 6: Mergers can distort competition: market power, anticompetitive conduct and unearned advantage
- Chapter 7: Hierarchical conflict harms customers
- PART III: Regulatory lapses: visionlessness, reactivity, deference
- Chapter 8: Regulators unreadiness: checklists instead of visions
- Chapter 9: Promoters strategy: frame mergers as simple, positive, inevitable
- Chapter 10: How do regulators respond? By ceding leadership, underestimating negatives and accepting minor positives
- Chapter 11: Explanations: passion gaps and mental shortcuts
- PART IV: Solutions: regulatory posture, practices and infrastructure
- Chapter 12: Regulatory posture and practice: less instinct, more analysis less reactivity, more preparation
- Chapter 13: Regulatory infrastructure: strengthen regulatory resources, clarify statutory powers, assess prior mergers effects
- The U.S. electric industry: a tutorial
- Appendix A.1 List of companies referenced
- Appendix A.2 Does federal bankruptcy law preempt a state commissions franchising authority?
- Appendix A.3 Ring-fencing provisions approved by the D.C. Public Service Commission
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Chapter 1: Diverse strategies, common purpose: selling public franchises for private gain
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