4John D. Rockefeller Caused Antimonopoly Laws
John D. Rockefeller’s practices in business whilst controlling Standard Oil ended up with him controlling up to 90% of the United States oil industry. This incredible monopoly was a major contributing factor towards the introduction of the United States Antitrust Law by newly elected president Theodore Roosevelt.
The United States
Antitrust Law is a collection of government and federal laws that were introduced in order to prevent business monopolies and promote fair competition for the benefit of the customer base. The first of these laws, the Sherman Act of 1890, was passed due to the monopoly that Standard Oil held over the petroleum industry in the 1880s.
To be fair to Standard Oil, their domination of the oil sector resulted in increased availability of oil and a drastically reduced cost, therefore benefiting the end customer. However, the practices they conducted to gain this monopoly were less than desirable, with economic threats issues towards their competitors and secret transport rebates. Because of these unsavoury practices, and despite the benefit of the customer, Standard Oil and in turn, John D. Rockefeller, were punished by the Supreme Court and chastised by journalists all over the country.
When the sentence was given, Standard Oil was split up into 34 separate, regional companies that all had to compete with one another. In an ironic turn of events, this proved immensely profitable for Rockefeller, as when the company split up he then held shares in all the resulting companies.