THE DRAFTERS OF THE SHERMAN ANTITRUST ACT of 1890 would understandably be perplexed by the complexity of modern economic systems. These drafters, including the Act’s namesake, US Senator John Sherman, were operating in a world where protectionist economics dominated. Karl Marx had just recently completed his critique of untethered capitalism, Das Kapital, and international trade was largely confined to the exchange of raw materials. These drafters were responding to an issue very topical to the late-nineteenth century— John D. Rockefeller’s monopoly over American oil. The situation came to a head in 1882 when Samuel Dodd, the attorney to Rockefeller’s company, Standard Oil, ingeniously used the doctrine of trusts to consolidate all of Rockefeller’s oil holdings—representing 90 per cent of the market—under a single controlling trust. It took the government 21 years to successfully use the Act to dismantle Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust.
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"Antitrust Law in the New Economy by Mark R Patterson."
Osgoode Hall Law Journal