Washington state regulators say they have denied Hydro One Ltd.'s proposal to acquire Avista Corp. citing political interference in the Ontario company by the Doug Ford administration.
The Washington Public Utilities and Transportation Commission said the deal, which assessed Avista at $ 6.7 billion, would not be in the public interest after it became clear that the Ontario government was willing to interfere with the company.
The US regulator cited how Ford forced the retirement of the CEO of Hydro One, which was followed by the resignation of the entire board as evidence that the province was willing to put political interests above the interests of shareholders.
Hydro One, which is 47 percent controlled by the Ontario government, testified on the Avista deal that the province was a passive investor who did not exert political pressure on the company.
The US regulator says the promised benefits of the deal, including fee credits, are inadequate to offset the risks that Avista's customers would face.