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Dunshee v. Standard Oil Co.
Iowa Supreme Court
152 Iowa 618 (1911)
Standard Oil Company (Standard) (defendant) was a wholesale oil dealer. F. S. Dunshee (plaintiff) was the assignee of a company previously called Crystal Oil Company (Crystal Company). Crystal Company sold oil at a retail level, delivering it to customers at their homes. Crystal Company had been buying exclusively from Standard, but it started buying from other wholesale dealers as well. Standard insisted that Crystal Company buy exclusively from Standard, and when Crystal Company refused, Standard enacted a scheme to put Crystal Company out of business. Standard set up a temporary retail operation that deliberately targeted Crystal Company’s customers, even going so far as to pose as Crystal Company at times. Crystal Company went out of business, after which Standard ceased retail operations. Crystal Company filed suit against Standard for conspiracy to destroy Crystal Company’s business. The trial court found for Crystal Company, and Standard appealed. On appeal, Standard claimed that through its actions it had engaged only in legitimate competition and that its motivations were irrelevant.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Weaver, J.)
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