Michigan prosecutors intend to appeal a judge’s decision to dismiss two antitrust charges against Chesapeake Energy Corp., Attorney General Bill Schuette said Thursday. Cheboygan District Court Judge Maria Barton on Wednesday ordered Chesapeake to stand trial on one count of violating the state’s antitrust law in an alleged bid-rigging scheme at a 2010 oil and natural gas lease auction, but she dismissed two others. Chesapeake is accused of conspiring with another natural gas producer, Encana Corp., to hold down lease prices. The company also faces fraud and racketeering charges in a separate case involving its dealings with 20 Michigan landowners. In that case, Chesapeake allegedly failed to honor leases it signed with property owners in 2010. A preliminary exam on those charges is set for Aug. 18. A trial has not been set in the antitrust case.
JAY F. MARKS,