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The Kentucky Public Service Commission has tentatively approved the purchase of Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities by Pennsylvania-based PPL Corp.

The PSC today announced approval of a settlement involving a number of groups that intervened in the case.

PPL has agreed not to raise base utility rates before the end of 2012. The company earlier pledged to keep LG&E and KU headquarters in place for at least 15 years.

PPL announced in April that it had reached an agreement to purchase the utilities from E.ON U.S. for $7.6 billion. Louisville and state officials made a bid for public ownership of the companies but could not come to final terms.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."