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EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The investigations into whether regulators and consumers were misled ahead of the merger of North Carolina’s two Fortune 500 energy companies could continue quietly for months after a deadline arrives next week.

North Carolina utilities regulators and the state’s attorney general have demanded internal documents and other evidence by Aug. 7 involving Duke Energy Corp. and its surprise decision to change its top executive. That was a key detail of its takeover of Progress Energy Inc., and Duke Energy’s board of directors was discussing a change even as regulators considered approval.

The utilities commission plans to hire an outside law firm to review the documents to see whether it was misled when it approved the takeover June 29.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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