With little fanfare and a two-line mention in its daily digest of agency actions, the Securities and Exchange Commission this month dismissed its lawsuit to break up a $6.6 billion utility merger.

The SEC’s decision averted what undoubtedly would have led to a bitter court fight over disassembling a merger consummated nearly six years ago. The agency decided to throw in the towel on the legal fight in the wake of repeal of the 1935 Public Utilities Holding Company Act by Congress late last year. PUHCA, as the law restricting utility mergers was generally known, became formally extinct Feb. 8.

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