The Decision in the “Merger Case” being A Review of the Decision of the United States Circuit Court at St. Paul in the case of United States v. Northern Securities Co.
Sole edition. Predecessor to a landmark Antitrust decision.
In 1902, President Roosevelt ordered Attorney General Philander C. Knox to challenge the merger between Northern Pacific Railway and Great Northern Railway companies. Roosevelt believed that the merger violated the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and raised problems of restraint of trade, interstate commerce, monopolies, and fair competition.
Here in 1903, and acting as defense attorney, John Larkin Thorndike (1844–1920) argued that Northern Securities Co., a holding company that owned shares in the competing railroads, never “used its power to suppress competition, or that it threatened or intended, or claimed the right, so to use it.” (p36) Thorndike discusses the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, the Michigan case of Richardson v. Buhl, People v. Sugar Refining Co. in New York, and State v. Standard Oil Co. in Ohio.
Thorndike was a Harvard Law School graduate, Boston attorney and editor of Story’s Commentaries on the Law of Promissory Notes. In 1887, he helped establish the firm of Storey, Thorndike & Hoar, often retained by Union Pacific Railroad Company.
Thorndike’s efforts were for naught. 1904, the U.S. Supreme Court (United States v. Northern Securities Co.) affirmed the constitutionality of the Sherman Antitrust Act and affirmed that the government had jurisdiction over this merger, a decision that would be reinforced repeatedly in future court decisions.
Description: The Decision in the “Merger Case” being A Review of the Decision of the United States Circuit Court at St. Paul in the case of United States v. Northern Securities Co.
Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1903. 36pp. 9¼ x 6 inches. Printed wrappers with some soil and browning; else very good.