A breaking report from Reuters:
Special Report: Chesapeake and rival plotted to suppress land prices
By Brian Grow, Joshua Schneyer and Janet Roberts
GAYLORD, MICHIGAN | Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:47am EDT
This report shows how Chesapeake and EnCana worked together to suppress land prices in public auctions and in dealings with private land owners.
Reuters has some emails exchanges where a Chesapeake VP admits he was working with EnCana “to avoid us bidding each other up in the interim.”
That exchange – and at least a dozen other emails reviewed by Reuters – could provide evidence that the two companies violated federal and state laws by seeking to keep land prices down, antitrust lawyers said.
This is only one example of the Big Oil & Gas Mafia working together to avoid competition of the free market. Hint to reporters: Notice how the Barnett Shale is divided up into sections with the major players each taking a section.
The Big Bank Mafia is too big to fail and the Big Oil & Gas Mafia is too big to follow any rules.
Encana and Chesapeake, the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States, withdrew offers for Zaremba’s land in quick succession in 2010. That came after they had engaged in a bidding war for his property in the weeks prior, according to the documents reviewed by Reuters.
Emails and other documents show that executives of the two companies discussed detailed plans for preventing Zaremba from getting the price he wanted for about 20,000 acres of land where both sought to drill for gas and oil.
What do you think, Dear Readers? Are they guilty of price fixing?
UPDATE 2: I like this sarcastic blog post.
Here is a video for your enjoyment.