U.S. prosecutors cleared Chesapeake Energy (CHK) Corp. and Encana Corp. (ECA), two of the nation’s largest natural gas producers, of trying to cheat the state of Michigan in shale drilling auctions.
The Justice Department’s antitrust division sent a letter dated April 29 to Chesapeake saying that the investigation has closed, according to a copy obtained by Bloomberg News. Encana confirmed in an e-mailed statement that it also had been informed the probe was over. The department didn’t respond to voice mail messages seeking comment.
The wind-down of the federal grand jury inquiry is another step forward for Chesapeake out from under the shadow cast by former chairman and Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon, who was fired last year amid a shareholder revolt and conflict-of-interest scandal. The decision to drop the case may bolster Chesapeake next week in a Michigan courthouse, where the state is pressing ahead with bid-rigging charges against both companies.The entire article can be read here.
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