The staff of the Federal Trade Commission on August 28 filed a comment with the Mississippi Public Service Commission concerning the Transco proposal submitted to the state agency by Entergy Mississippi, Inc.
The FTC has a longstanding interest in regulation and competition in energy markets, including proposals to reform regulation of the electric power and natural gas industries. The staff has submitted numerous comments concerning these issues at both the state and federal levels.
In its comment, the staff highlights three issues about competition and efficiency raised by Entergy's's proposal to establish a for-profit, independent transmission company affiliate (Transco) that would manage and operate transmission lines currently owned by Entergy. According to the staff, Entergy's proposal may pose potential vertical and horizontal threats to competition. The staff noted that Entergy's Transco would have incentives to harm competition by vertically discriminating against, and raising the costs of, Entergy's competitors in electricity sales. The comment also states that the staff believes that Entergy would have incentives to reduce competition between transmission and generation investments by favoring its own transmission assets. While the staff noted that Entergy's proposal may present potential efficiency benefits, these likely could be obtained by an independent system operator (ISO) that would both manage and operate the transmission grid.
The Commission vote to approve the staff comment was 4-0.
NOTE: The comment represents the views of staff members of the FTC's Bureau of Economics and not necessarily the views of the Commission or any individual Commissioner.
Copies of the full text of the comment are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
(FTC File No. V980024)
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