The Montana Public Service Commission has approved a merger application for Utah Power & Light Co. and Portland-based PacifiCorp, the utilities announced Tuesday.

The approval Monday came in the wake of similar actions by utility commissions in Wyoming, Idaho and California. Decisions are pending in Oregon, Washington and Utah.Administrative law judge George P. Lewnes recommended Monday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission deny the merger.

Lewnes said in a 247-page decision that the two utilities had failed to convince him that the merger would be in the best interest of the public.

The final decision is now in the hands of the full commission.