Chesapeake, Encana set to answer antitrust charges in Michigan

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

Chesapeake Energy (CHK -0.4%) and Encana (ECA -1.3%) appear before a Michigan judge today to answer allegations they criminally conspired to lower land leases in the state.

Collaboration between the two companies may have caused lease prices to plummet from $1,510/acre at a May 2010 auction to less than $40/acre at an auction conducted five months later, according to the Michigan AG.

ECA has expanded its presence in the region’s Collingwood shale formation, controlling ~429K acres by the end of 2012, while CHK withdrew from the area after investing $400M.