Yes, absolutely Standard Oil’s monopoly needed to end. Adam Smith was perhaps the first to write passionately about the dangers of monopoly, and Standard Oil’s 90% marketshare could have been a poster child for Smith’s predictions. After all, it resulted in:
1. Ruthless and destructive anti-competitive practices involving spying, lying, deception, back room deals, bribes, threats, physical violence, etc.
2. Careful and deliberate amplification of political corruption that supported Standard Oil’s monopoly.
3. Extraordinary, near-absolute influence over markets (price controls, supply manipulations, etc.)
4. Widespread public distaste and mistrust in the resulting consumer conditions imposed by Standard Oil.
While it is true that Rockefeller’s initial success was fueled by increased efficiencies and clever cost recovery strategies and innovation, those advantages paled in comparison to the truly brutal market manipulation that Standard Oil imposed later, when it had finagled and coerced the power to do so.
My 2 cents.
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