court case

court case

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  • How it started
  • Let's create an order to allow the growing corporation to own stock.
  • The Government Accuses
  • I think this isn't benefiting
  • The Arguement
  • Former attorney for the Standard Oil Company in Ohio, C.T. Dodd, skirted around existing Ohio anti-trust (or anti-competition) law by creating a new form of a trust in 1879 in order to allow the growing corporation to own stock in other corporations.
  • The Other Arguement
  • The Government alleged that Standard Oil did not solely benefit from the development of the new trust formation and superior business practice but from “immoral acts – rebate taking, local price-cutting” which did not evade state or federal regulation.
  • The Testify
  • The argument was made that Rockefeller had obtained his monopoly through under the table deals, threats, and bribery with railroad companies in order to receive special rates that would give his companies and an unsurmountable advantage over his competitors in the regions. In response to the defense that the profits and success were a result of efficiency and superior businiess tactics, 
  • The court's decision.
  • The respondent argued that Rockefeller sought out favorable business agreements that any other business had the ability to do and never did so with the intention of driving others out of the market. Milburn also showed that consumers were not hurt in the process and that prices remained the same for decades, creating a stable market which can not be said for many of the combinations and trusts being formed at the time.
  • Witnesses such as Rockefeller’s business partner, Henry Flagler, would testify that there were no illegal components of the deals made with railroad companies and that other companies received the same rebates. The case was made that Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Co. made an appealing offer to the railroad companies by offering continuous and exclusive business partnerships.
  • On May 15,1911, Chief Justice Edward White writing for the majority, the Court ruled that Standard Oil and the listed 33 companies affiliated were participating in “restrain[t to] trade and commerce in petroleum.” After thorough examination of English contextual meaning of reasonable restraint, Chief Justice White determined that the attempt to control the free market through fixed pricing, combinations/monopolies, and seeking to eliminate.
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