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Standard Oil Anti-Trust Suit
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| Words: 279 | Submitted: 06-Oct-2011
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DescriptionThe anti-trust case of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey v. United States wherein the government sought to break up a potential monopoly in th elate part of the nineteenth century.
The case of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey v. United States turned out to be a landmark case in American history. Politics and lawmaking have used it as a reference point, benchmark, and lesson in business expansion for nearly a century. Standard Oil had spent much of the latter part of the 1800s buying up any and all competitors in the alleged hopes of building a monopoly. The United States government pursued an investigation against Standard Oil, citing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act as grounds for violation.
The Sherman Anti-Trust Act aims to prevent monopolies, and the subsequent repercussions therein, specifically a company’s ability to “restrain trade”; a dubious confirmation that the government found quite arduous in affirming (Baron, 2010, p. 267). However, in the end, the government was able to levy severe fines against John D. Rockefeller and several other co-owners (Baron, 2010, p. 273). In the end, Standard Oil wound up breaking up into smaller companies, not unlike the similar undertaking the “Baby Bells” followed in 1984, when AT&T was broken up into “Regional Holding Companies” (Conrad, 2010).
When it comes to potential monopolies, the government must be careful in enacting legislation and enforcing regulation on companies that may actually be acting under honorable conditions, albeit with outstanding results. Standard Oil was never proven to be in violation of any anti-trust actions; while they were accused of intimidation, undercutting, and other unethical actions, in the end these accusations only proved to be conjecture and hearsay.
Baron, D.P., (2010). Business and its Environment (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall
Conrad, R.S., (2010, October 1). “Net Neutrality: RIP”. Retrieved on October 26, 2010 from: http://www.investingdaily.com/ufo/17830/net-neutrality-rip.html
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