Friday, August 10, 2012

Chesapeake Energy in U.S. antitrust investigation

(Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy said it is the subject of a U.S. government investigation over possible criminal antitrust violations related to the purchase and lease of oil and gas properties in Michigan.

Chesapeake has received a subpoena from the antitrust division of the Justice Department's Midwest field office, requiring the company to produce documents before a grand jury in the Western District of Michigan, according to a filing with U.S. regulators on Thursday.

In June, Reuters reported that Chesapeake plotted with its top competitor, Canada's Encana Corp, to suppress land prices in the Collingwood shale in Northern Michigan.

Emails between Chesapeake and Encana showed the two companies repeatedly discussed how to avoid bidding against each other in a public land auction in Michigan two years ago and in at least nine prospective deals with private land owners. Read More