This was John D. Rockefeller, who I believe pulled one of the smartest yet dirtiest business moves to build the largest monopoly which would be valued at a trillion dollars in today’s money.
Growing up John was used to hustling people for pennies on a dollar, and learned from his father who was considered a great conman.
Starting multiple companies on his own at a very young age, John took interest in the initial discoveries of oil and its usages.
During this oil boom companies would form either to drill the actual oil, or to take the oil that was drilled and refine it into two main components; kerosene (used in lamps back in the day) and gasoline.
Now John quickly knew that the real money wasn’t in drilling oil but refining the oil. He understood that drilling oil actually takes more risk, and many companies went under because of that..
So John decided to focus on building a company around refining the actual oil which would be much more profitable and less risky.
(Why dig for the gold when you can sell the shovel? Digging for the gold takes more risk, selling the shovel is guaranteed)
Soon John had built one of the largest oil refineries in Cleveland Ohio and continued to grow by buying out his competition to increase market share with his new incorporated company, SOHIO.
But there was one problem…
Out of all the refineries he bought, 4 of them did not want to budge on being bought out and John decided to play his own dirty tricks…
The Dirtiest Tactic:
After providing these 4 companies generous buy-out prices he decided to heavily compete against them.
John knew his company was larger, more profitable and could take more risk, so what he decided to do was lower his prices so much that it forced the 4 other oil refineries to go bankrupt because they could not compete with John’s new industry prices.
This allowed John to have complete and total control of the oil refinery business and allowed him to own majority market share in America.
Now because of John’s power and wealth many other industries would fear that he could take over their companies as well, and this forced government to get involved.
After numerous attempts to take down SOHIO, one man named Theodore Roosevelt declared SOHIO a monopolized company and forced it to be split up into 34 multiple companies.
However John would still have equity in all of these companies and it actually increased his net-worth as a result.
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