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Utilies drop hub plans, investing in existing e-marketplace

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Atlanta--A group of utilities that announced plans earlier this year to form an online exchange have instead invested in IntercontinentalExchange.com, an existing independent power and metals hub. The companies, including Duke Energy Corp., the Southern Company and El Paso Energy Corp., deliver about 37% of the electricity and 27% of the gas in the U.S., according to published reports. While it is not unusual for companies to make investments in independent marketplaces, this appears to be the first instance of a group of brick-and-mortar players announcing plans to construct their own exchange and then deciding to invest rather than build.
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