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In 1900 the American News Company (ANC) held a complete monopoly on American distribution of periodicals. The company was well-equipped and well-run, but the main reason they rose to the top was their enforcement of control by violent suppression of competitors.

In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt sued J. P. Morgan under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act when he attempted to monopolize rail road distribution. This famous defense of national interests over corporate greed was applauded by average citizens, but at the same time it infuriated other monopolists, who were forced to undertake defensive measures.

By 1917 ANC was dominated by William Randolph Hearst, whose executive circulation manager was Moe L. Annenberg of Chicago.

In 1920 Prohibition began and the monopoly-controlled business of distributing periodicals was suddenly flooded with a new and incredibly lucrative sideline, the distribution of contraband liquor.

In 1922 Moe L. Annenberg left Chicago to become Hearst's executive director in New York City, where he also worked in association with Teddy Epstein to produce gambling publications within the territorial reign of Lucky Luciano.

In order to disguise the extent of ANC's monopoly, Moe L. Annenberg began in 1924 to organize the formation of several supposedly independent distributors, each of which was free to operate without violent reprisals from ANC. The heads of these supposedly independent distributors were all business associates of Moe L. Annenberg, such as Teddy Epstein (PDC), Warren Angel (Kable News), Paul Sampliner (Eastern), Irving J. Manheimer (PDC), Harry Donenfeld (IND), Louis Silberkleit and Martin Goodman (Mutual Magazines), Michael Estrow (Leader News), John Shade (Associated), Lee Ellmaker (Macfadden), and Joseph Ottenstein (SM).

By 1935 the Board of Directors at Hearst Publications had forced William Randolph Hearst into semi-retirement.

By 1938 Moe L. Annenberg was under indictment for tax evasion by the same District Attorney that had successfully prosecuted Al Capone. On April 20, 1940 Moe L. Annenberg was convicted to serve three years in Federal prison and to pay a fine of $8,000,000, which was the largest such penalty in U.S. history. Before incarceration he installed his son Walter Annenberg (1908-2002) as business successor to assure smooth continuity to the operation of his vast empire.

In 1955 ANC was headed by a former member of Independent Distributors, Henry Garfinkle, who instituted catastrophic policies that quickly destroyed the giant distribution company. Repercussions from that industrial meltdown traumatized the American publishing industry and generated widespread misgivings about the ulterior business interests of Henry Garfinkle. When the dust had settled, ID was the nations' largest newsstand distributor, and S-M News wielded controlling interest of ID.

In 1969 Henry Garfinkle merged ANC with the Garfield News Company to form Ancorp National Services, the nation's largest newsstand retailer of periodicals.

Kable News Company was also purchased and merged with Ancorp Company, while the former co-owner of Kable News Company, Samuel J. Campbell, became an executive member of the Board of Directors.

In 1971 Ancorp National Services was sold to Rupert Murdoch, the Australian-born American media mogul, to form the world's second-largest media distribution company, News Corp and 21st Century Fox, despite the enlightened legislation of the Sherman Anti-trust Act and President Theodore Roosevelt, who saw the necessity to outlaw monopolistic industrial trusts that threatened democracy, the free-market, and national interests.

                          © David Saunders 2017

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