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AGL Optimistic on A$1.51 Billion Power Deal



Source: The Wall Street Journal, 25 February 2014 

SYDNEY--Electricity retailer AGL Energy Ltd. (AGK.AU) reported a 27% fall in first-half profit, and said it was confident it had addressed concerns that a 1.51 billion Australian dollar (US$1.36 billion) deal to buy more power assets might stifle competition.

AGL is looking to own more power plants generating electricity that it can sell to customers ranging from households to businesses. Earlier this month, it agreed to a deal to buy Macquarie Generation, which produces about a quarter of New South Wales's electricity, after the asset was put up for sale by the state government.

However, the acquisition is in the crosshairs of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the country's competition regulator, which worried it could hurt competition. The ACCC has the power to block the deal, which would cement the dominance of AGL and rivals EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy Ltd. (ORG.AU) in the New South Wales power sector.

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