Sherman Anti Trust Act 1889
Sherman Act attacks a business
The Sherman Anti-Trust Act was designed to combat the rise in industrial combinations, the most notorious being the Standard Oil Trust. The law declared that: "Every contract combination in the form of trust or otherwise in restraint of commerce among several states or foreign nations is hereby illegal."
The Sherman Anti-Trust Act made it a misdemeanor punishable by a year in prison and a $5,000 fine to take part in a "contract combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among several states or with foreign governments."
The act was passed in response to growing public outcry against the power of monopolies.
As business’s grew in the late 1800’s concerns grew that they were getting too powerful and colluding to increase pricing and limit competition. The activity of Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company which had created an interlocking set of trusts that managed to control the oil market was one of the prime concerns that led to developing legislation to address the problem. The Sherman Antitrust Act makes it illegal to restrict trade by creating monopolies, by colluding on trade. The goal of the law was to protect consumers and other business from unfair laws caused by monopolies of collusion.
The law states “Section 1:
"Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal."
"Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony.