Business & Finance: Meyer & Deterding

Warring companies, like warring nations, proclaim slogans, announce positions from which they will never, never recede. Last winter, when the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Co. (60% Dutch, 40% British) declared war on the Standard Oil Co. of N. Y., both contestants stated their cases promptly and publicly. For Dutch Shell, Sir Henri Wilhelm August Deterding shouted "stolen oil" across the ocean to N. Y. The retort was immediate: "The Standard Oil Co. of N. Y. . . . will carry out all contracts into which it has entered, and will not be swerved ... by desperate and destructive measures."

These were the...

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