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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Those opposed to a merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy want more public hearings in North Carolina.

Raleigh-based Progress and Charlotte-based Duke have asked the North Carolina Utilities Commission to approve the merger by July 8. The utilities have an agreement that expires that day that would allow either to withdraw from the deal without paying millions in penalties.

But a number of advocacy groups say more hearings are needed. The state held hearings in September, but the two companies have since revised their proposal to deal with monopoly concerns raised by federal regulators.

The merger would create the nation’s largest electric utility, to be based in Charlotte. It would have $95 billion in combined assets and operations in a dozen states and Latin America.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

6/19/2012 8:00:06 AM (GMT -4:00)

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