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NC appeals court weighs Duke Energy merger deal

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

 The North Carolina Court of Appeals is being asked to decide whether the deal that made Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp. the country's largest electric company should be revised to do more for consumers.

The court will hear arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit challenging the state Utilities Commission's decision last year to approve the agreement combining Duke Energy with Raleigh-based Progress Energy. The advocacy group NC WARN contends the commission didn't fully protect consumers from risks connected to the merger.

A decision from the court could take several months, and it could be appealed to the state Supreme Court. The high court ruled earlier this year that the state Utilities Commission did not adequately consider the negative impact on consumers by allowing Duke Energy to raise rates by 7 percent.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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