Hydro One’s Avista takeover rejected by U.S. regulators citing political interference by Doug Ford

Washington State regulators have rejected Hydro One’s proposed takeover of Avista Corp. citing political interference in the Ontario-based utility by the Doug Ford government.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) said the $6.7-billion deal was not in the public interest because it was “evident” that decisions impacting Hydro One were influenced by “political considerations” following Ford forcing the retirement of Hydro One CEO Mayo Schmidt.

The departure of Schmidt — who Ford has referred to as “the $6-million man” — was followed by the resignation of the entire board, events that were cited as evidence by state regulators that Ontario was willing to put political interests above those of shareholders.

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