DOJ opens investigation into Westar’s merger with Great Plains

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Westar Energy is not terribly concerned about a request from the Department of Justice concerning their sale to Great Plains.

The DOJ has opened an investigation into the possible multimillion-dollar merger and sent a letter to Westar requesting information about two weeks ago.

Westar spokeswoman Gina Penzig says the inquiry isn’t unusual considering the companies operate in the same general region.

The Securities and Exchange Commission released a report saying it asked the two companies to voluntarily release related documents.

Meanwhile, the DOJ has also asked the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board for its opinion on the sale. CURB is a state agency charged with protecting everyday Kansans and small business owners. David Nickel with CURB says their agency has consulting economists and business analysts looking at the potential impact on Westar Energy and its customers.

CURB will share their findings with the DOJ as well as the Kansas Corporation Commission.

Meanwhile, Penzig insists that despite the size of a combined company, the pair is still a small part of a very large, competitive market.

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