US: Defendant wants Michigan to toss natural gas antitrust case

One of two named defendants in Michigan’s lawsuit accusing the firms of conspiring to manipulate land lease costs is reportedly asking a judge to toss the antitrust suit, say reports.

US-based Chesapeake Energy and Canada-based Encana were charged last March with antitrust violations as the state accused the natural gas companies of colluding to artificially suppress the cost of land leasing in Michigan. A federal investigation into the matter was recently dropped.

Now, Chesapeake is reportedly requesting Michigan to drop the case as well, filing a motion to dismiss the suit last Friday. Both defendants deny any wrongdoing.

The dispute stems from a joint venture proposal between the firms that ultimately was not carried out. Prosecutors claim the companies’ ties led them to collude to divide oil and has leases in the state.

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