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United States v. Standard Oil

A Challenge To Monopolies


U.S. Justice Department


Standard Oil of New Jersey

Plaintiff's Claim

That Standard Oil was a monopoly and engaged in a conspiracy of restraint of trade.

Chief Lawyer for Plaintiff

Frank B. Kellogg

Chief Defense Lawyer

John G. Milburn

Justices for the Court

William Rufus Day, John Marshall Harlan I, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Evans Hughes, Joseph Rucker Lamar, Horace Harmon Lurton, Joseph McKenna, Willis Van Devanter, Edward Douglass White

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

15 May 1911


Sustained the circuit court dissolution order.


Although the Court sustained the order to dissolve Standard Oil by introducing the "rule of reason," the Court opened the door to future collaboration in restraint of trade among the component companies.

Related Cases

  • Puerto Rico v. Shell Co., 302 U.S. 253 (1937).
  • United States v. E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 351 U.S. 377 (1956).
  • Berkey Photo, Inc. v. Eastman Kodak Co., 603 F.2d 263 (2nd Cir. 1979).

Further Readings

  • Bringhurst, Bruce. Antitrust and the Oil Monopoly, The Standard Oil Cases, 1890-1911. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979.
  • Miller, Arthur S. The Supreme Court and American Capitalism. New York: Free Press, 1968.
  • Nash, Gerald P. United States Oil Policy, 1890-1914. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1968.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917