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  • Trusts are otherwise known as combinations or mergers. Businesses combine to dominate a market, minimize competition, or maximize profit by controlling prices. In the United States, trusts became particularly repugnant in the 19th century, as various businesses incorporated and formed trusts to defraud consumers. The creation of the Standard Oil monopoly in the 19th century inspired many other industries to consolidate into similar trusts, including linseed oil, cotton seed oil, lead, sugar, distilling, matches, tobacco, and rubber. Wealth soon became concentrated in the hands of a few.

    Monopolies had long been illegal in common law, but in the 1880s, more stringent laws were made, and some dissolved trusts. A trust dissolved in one state, however, could incorporate in another where the laws were much more amicable ...

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