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State Commission Scrutinizes Sale of Avista Corp.

The proposed sale of a Spokane-based utility to a Canadian company came under intense scrutiny from Washington regulators this week.

Posted: Oct. 24, 2018 10:13 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The proposed sale of a Spokane-based utility to a Canadian company came under intense scrutiny from Washington regulators this week.

The state Utilities and Transportation Commission held a lengthy hearing in Olympia on Tuesday, with members asking how they could protect Northwest customers from bad decisions by the Ontario government.

The Spokesman-Review says Hydro One Ltd. is trying to buy Avista Corp. for $5.3 billion.

The three-member commission says the prospect of government interference is real.

The sales agreement specifies that Avista's headquarters will remain in Spokane.

For the sale to go through, the commission must determine Avista's acquisition is in the best interest of the utility's Washington customers.

In Montana and Alaska, public utility commissions already have approved the sale. Commissions in Oregon and Idaho are still deliberating.

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