Chesapeake, Encana charged in Michigan over collusion

|About: Chesapeake Energy Corpora... (CHK)|By:, SA News Editor

Michigan has indicted Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and Encana (ECA) with conspiring to keep down oil and gas lease prices in the state.

If found guilty, the companies could face penalties of up to $1M, while individuals could receive prison sentences as well as fines.

The charges follow an investigation that was sparked by a Reuters article about how then Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon and other senior executives at the company and at Encana discussed not "bidding each other up."

The talks came after Michigan prices soared to as high as $3,000 per acre in mid-2010; they then fell sharply later that year.

Encana and Chesapeake still face a separate, federal investigation.