The Old House has been attacked by commercial competitors in the United States and abroad, as well as by the public and the government. The public saw it as a mysterious unit with arrogant directors who were not accountable to anyone. Public opinion continued to oppose the standards and the aversion led to legal attacks that would change the company forever. In addition, the U.S. economy had moved from a decentralized and competitive economy of many small businesses to one dominated by industrial “trusts,” and Americans were watching the government to restore competition, control abuse, and tame the economic and political forces of trusts. Ohio and Texas were the first states to launch minor legal attacks with antimonopoly lawsuits. At least seven other states and the Oklahoma Territory have done the same. Standard resisted by hiring top legal talent, buying influence with political contributions, and even adding a senator to its legal team at a cost of $US 44,500. The Ohio Court decision in 1892 was that the trust was dissolved and shares transferred to twenty companies. Although control remained between the same owners, the companies were grouped into “Standard Oil Interests” instead of Trust. Standard was not politically powerless. This dissolution, however, prevented Standard from seeking “official” control of the company. The state of NJ broke away from traditional economic law and revised its laws to allow for the creation of holding companies (companies that could hold shares in other companies).
As a result, the owners of Standard Oil Interests founded Standard Oil of New Jersey in 1899 as the holding company for the entire operation. Standard Oil of New Jersey held shares in 41 other companies. These escape tactics allowed Standard to retain his power despite the legal attack. The large amount of property and the possibilities for extensive control that flow from the above facts illustrate the statement we have appended earlier on the parties to the 1882 trust agreement and on the corporations whose shares were held by the directors under the trust and which were therefore held by the New Jersey Corporation. . . .