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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Progress Energy and Duke Energy have set July as their new deadline for completing their merger creating the country’s largest electric utility.

The companies said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that they agreed last week to forgo a termination date in the merger agreement until July. A Duke Energy spokesman did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Tuesday.

The companies had pressed all of last year to complete their deal by the end of 2011. That target was upset when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the companies haven’t done enough to protect competition in their North Carolina and South Carolina home markets.

Duke and Progress said last month that revising their deal to satisfy federal regulators would take until March at the earliest.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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