STANDARD OIL CO. OF NJ v. UNITED STATES
John D. Rockefeller owned the largest and richest trust in America. He controlled the nation's oil business and scorned congressional efforts to outlaw combinations in restraint of trade (i.e., antitrust). In 1909, a federal court found Rockefeller's company, Standard Oil, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The court ordered the dissolution of the company.
Did Standard Oil violate the Sherman Act?
Standard Oil lost, but White, for the majority, managed to amend the language of the Sherman Act such that only "unreasonable" contracts and combinations in restraint of trade would violate the law. Heretofore, the Act made all contracts and combinations in retraint of trade into law violations. In this case, the record shows that the Standard Oil trust was unreasonable.