GOVERNMENT: Seven Up

The Justice Department last week fired a broadside at Standard Oil Co. of California and the six other big oil companies operating on the West Coast.* Charging monopoly and price-fixing, the department filed an antitrust suit to force the companies to: 1) end their exclusive-dealer contracts with independent service stations; 2) divorce their producing activities from their wholesale and retail outlets; and 3) dissolve their conservation committee, which has set production quotas for California's oil industry.

Only a year ago, the trustbusters had won a precedent-setting decision over California Standard that helped pave the way for the new suit....