Wharton Research Scholars

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:
Orlando, Anthony. "An Early Assessment of the Sherman Antitrust Act: Three Case Studies. Wharton Scholars Research Journal.. University of Pennsylvania. April 2009.


The majority of the research literature on early antitrust law focuses on prices and output, but few empirical studies decompose these symptoms into the causes that the underlying theory suggests. The literature has been equally silent about secondary effects, even when their derivative claims dependent on and could be proven (or disproven by) evidence in such data. This paper focuses on three case studies where the United States Supreme Court used the Sherman Antitrust Act to justify significant government intervention in an industry, resulting in the breakup of a major trust or cartel—Chesapeake & Ohio Fuel Co. v. United States, Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States, and United States v. American Tobacco Co.—by measuring five industry metrics and their relation to the antitrust action: capital, number of establishments, employment, profit margin, and revenue.


antitrust law



Date Posted: 02 September 2010