Chesapeake says e-mails contradict Michigan collusion charges

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

Chesapeake Energy (CHK +2.1%) is fighting back against collusion charges, accusing Michigan authorities of cherry picking internal documents to support their contention it colluded with Encana (ECA -0.9%) in dividing up oil and gas lease bids in the state.

Michigan authorities have charged the companies with driving down the price of oil leases by conspiring over which counties each would seek resource exploration rights during a May 2010 auction.

Among the evidence the state's lawyers say back up their accusations are CHK e-mails suggesting the firms "throw in 50/50" on the bids, but in new court filings, CHK cites other parts of the same e-mails to show former CEO Aubrey McClendon was open to competition.