Chesapeake, Encana antitrust case deepens

Chesapeake, Encana antitrust case deepens by Emily Wilkinson, July 11, 2012, Houston Business Journal
Documents reviewed by Reuters indicate that top executives at Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) and Encana Corp. shared sensitive information that gave Chesapeake the upper hand in deals with Michigan land owners. Reuters reported earlier this month that the U.S. Department of Justice was looking into Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake reportedly discussed in emails with Canada-based Encana, its largest natural gas rival, how to stop bidding up land prices against each other at a Michigan public land auction for a possible collusion probe. The newest emails show the competitors traded information about whether Encana was halting new land leasing in Michigan in 2010, and the information prompted Chesapeake to dramatically change its leasing strategy and sent Michigan land prices tumbling from record highs, reports Reuters. In the days after learning that Encana was paring back, Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon ordered Chesapeake to renegotiate or delay closing on at least 10 deals that his company was negotiating with major land lease holders in Michigan, documents reviewed by Reuters show. Antitrust experts said such discussions could add fodder to probes by the Justice Department and Michigan authorities, who are exploring whether the two companies violated state or federal laws by discussing how to suppress land prices in the state, Reuters reports.

This entry was posted in Global Frac News, Other Legal. Bookmark the permalink.