United States v. E. C. Knight Co.
U.S. Case Law
156 U.S. 1 (1895), permitted combinations of local manufacturers and put most monopolies beyond the reach of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. The E. C. Knight Company, which enjoyed a virtual monopoly of sugar refining in the U.S., was sued by the government under the provisions of the Sherman Act. The Supreme Court ruled (8–1) against the government, declaring that manufacturing (e.g., refining) was a local activity not subject to congressional regulation of interstate commerce. Not until serious trust-busting began under presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft were effective means of enforcement added to the antitrust laws and the power of monopolies somewhat curtailed. (see, e.g. Northern Securities Co. v. United States)
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