Reuters news service continues to use what MDN assumes are illegally obtained emails to try and bring down Chesapeake Energy and its CEO Aubrey McClendon. Their latest breathless “they colluded! they colluded!” story starts this way:
As Chesapeake Energy Corp and Encana Corp face antitrust investigations, emails reviewed by Reuters indicate that top executives of the two rivals shared sensitive information that gave Chesapeake the upper hand in deals with Michigan land owners.
The emails show the competitors traded information about whether Encana was halting new land leasing in Michigan in 2010, and the information prompted Chesapeake to dramatically change its leasing strategy in subsequent weeks and helped send Michigan land prices tumbling from record highs.
In the days after learning that Encana was paring back, Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon ordered Chesapeake to renegotiate or delay closing on at least 10 deals that his company was negotiating with major land lease holders in Michigan, documents reviewed by Reuters show.*
Where, exactly, did these “documents reviewed by Reuters” come from? And where did the internal, private emails come from that Reuters keeps referring to? An employee, or board member, or janitor that disseminates private, internal communication has committed a crime, and at a minimum, Reuters is complicit by accepting said private communications.
This is not to excuse any illegal action that may (or may not) have been taken by Encana and Chesapeake. But MDN has to wonder why no one is asking Reuters about their own shady and perhaps illegal actions? MDN also wonders if the authors of this latest screed, Brian Grow and Joshua Schneyer, would like it if their email accounts were hacked and their sources for this article exposed? Well then the shoe would surely be on the other foot, wouldn’t it?
*Reuters (Jul 11, 2012) – Exclusive: Encana tipped off Chesapeake to land plans in Michigan – Emails