Though the merged American parent companies could obviously dispose of one or other of these British interests if that's what regulators demanded, they would certainly like to keep both of them and pool their resources. If this were allowed it would kick-start a host of other REC mergers, predicted for so long by industry insiders but resisted by the industry regulator, Stephen Littlechild at Offer.
All in all, the whole thing looks like a pretty unwelcome Christmas present for the DTI, which is already under intense pressure from Ed Wallis at PowerGen to let generators buy RECs. With pressure now mounting from the US, it is time for the government to make some difficult decisions. The sooner the DTI outlines its vision for the industry the better for all. The industry will be better able to judge whether consolidation makes commercial sense and regulators will be better placed to decide whether customers would be harmed by it. Get a move on Margaret Beckett.