Chesapeake, Encana facing state criminal antitrust hearing in Michigan


Michigan prosecutors plan to call a former Encana (ECA) executive to testify on behalf of the state in a multi-day hearing in their criminal antitrust case against Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and Encana that begins today.

Kurt Froistad, a former land acquisition specialist at ECA's U.S. unit until Aug. 2011, exchanged emails with a counterpart at CHK about dividing up bidding responsibilities between the two companies in nine Michigan counties ahead of an Oct. 2010 state land auction.

Last week, the companies said they had received closure letters from the Department of Justice ending its federal investigation of possible antitrust violations related to their Michigan land-leasing activities.

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