In Northern MIchigan
6:23 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Chesapeake Energy Faces Antitrust Charges

Representatives of two energy companies that are accused of colluding to keep bids low on oil and gas leases have appeared in a northern Michigan court to face criminal charges.

MIchigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
MIchigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
Credit State Of Michigan

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced March 5 that he filed antitrust charges against Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Encana Corp.

The companies appeared Wednesday for arraignment before Cheboygan District Court Judge Maria Barton. The judge set $20,000 bonds for each company and scheduled a probable-cause hearing for May 5-8.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake and Calgary, Alberta-based Encana have denied that they colluded on the bids in 2010 and say they'll fight the charges.

The charges carry a penalty of up to two years' imprisonment for individuals and a fine of up to $1 million for corporations.

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