Michigan probing allegations of Encana-Chesapeake anti-competitive practices

Michigan probing allegations of Encana-Chesapeake anti-competitive practices by Shawn McCarthy, Nathan Vanderklippe, June 25, 2012, The Globe and Mail
The State of Michigan is investigating allegations that Calgary-based Encana Corp. worked with a U.S. competitor, Chesapeake Energy Corp., to avoid competing in state land auctions for shale gas. The state’s Department of Natural Resources said it is working with the Attorney-General’s Office to review a series of e-mails, published by Reuters news agency, which show executives from the two companies discussing joint approaches to bidding. “Our department is committed to ensuring the integrity of its auctioning process and to receiving fair market value for resources on public land,” Ed Golder, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources, said Monday. … An official from the U.S. Justice Department could not comment on whether its antitrust division is looking into the matter, though lawyers say the e-mails raise concerns about potential illegality. … In a statement Monday, Chesapeake spokesman Jim Gipson denied any wrongdoing by the company. … In intra-day trading on Monday, Chesapeake shares were down as much as 9 per cent, while Encana was off more than 4 per cent.

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