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May 1--Two affiliated consumer watchdog groups say Duke Power Co.'s proposed takeover of PanEnergy Corp. would violate Duke's exemption from the Public Utility Holding Company Act.
Citizen Action, a Washington consumer watchdog group, and its Raleigh chapter, N.C. Citizen Action, have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to look into the matter.
The 1935 utility act was designed to break up holding companies to stop certain abuses. Some of these companies, for example, engaged in unrelated nonutility business unbeknownst to shareholders, putting their investments at risk.
Holding companies such as The Southern Co. in Atlanta fall …