California regulators have unanimously rejected the merger of Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., terming the nearly $3-billion proposal to create the nation's largest utility anti-competitive.

"After 20 years in public service, this is the sweetest victory of all," San Diego Mayor Maureen O'Conner, who led the charge against the merger, declared Wednesday after the decision by the Public Utilities Commission was announced.San Diego spent more than $6 million opposing the merger, warning, among other things, that it would worsen pollution in an area struggling to clean up its air.