STANDARD OIL CO. OF NJ v. UNITED STATES

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
398
Petitioner 
Standard Oil Co. of NJ
Respondent 
United States
Heard By 
Decided By 
Opinion 
Term:
Facts of the Case 

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.

Question 

Did Standard Oil violate the Sherman Act?

Conclusion 

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.

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STANDARD OIL CO. OF NJ v. UNITED STATES. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 12 December 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1909/1909_398>.
STANDARD OIL CO. OF NJ v. UNITED STATES, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1909/1909_398 (last visited December 12, 2014).
"STANDARD OIL CO. OF NJ v. UNITED STATES," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed December 12, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1909/1909_398.