Combine Honnete Ove Advanced Mercantiles (CHOAM) controls all economic affairs in the cosmos and is the largest form of wealth to the Old Empire. In 1980, author Frank Herbert compared CHOAM with OPEC, an intergovernmental organisation in the petroleum industry.
CHOAM was created by the Padishah empire’s political and military forces due to the formation of the Space Guild, which was founded by Komn refugees who held exclusive rights to “faster than light space travel”. Due to this, CHOAM can only trade with the co-operation of the Guild.
As with most public companies, CHOAM consists of shareholders, all of which are nobles from the Landsraad. Membership, however, was limited to feudal governments who ruled over at least one planet, or any house that did more than 500m solari’s worth of trade through the Guild in a year. And while the Great Houses hold the directorships, the Emperor can give and revoke them at whim.
The vision behind its creation was to have a monopoly on intersystem trade, whereby one per cent of the gross profits would be collected each year and evenly distributed between the CHOAM members. For the weaker feudal states, shares were based on trade not within their own system, over ten years. This would leave the emperor with only 20 per cent of the shares. There was also a stipulation that were you to attain membership you could never fall below one share in fee corporation.
CHOAM had great influence in creating the connection between the Great Houses and off-world trade, leading the empire into a 500-year period of economic growth.
2. Acme Corporation
From: Primarily the Looney Tunes
The Acme corporation spans across several TV series, cartoons and films, which is one of the reasons why it finds itself so high up on the list. The company is perhaps best-known for its appearance in the Looney Tunes universe.
No one will ever know who founded the corporation or when, but it made its first appearance in Looney Tunes’s Buddy cartoon.
Acme seems to be a conglomerate which makes incredibly dangerous products that are known to fail at the worst of times. Those explosives used by Wile E. Coyote to (attempt to) blow up Road Runner? Yup, made by Acme. But they do far more than just make dynamite. Indeed, whatever Wile E. wishes for, Acme can create.
Given this fact, most would find the company name to be ironic. It is derived from the Greek word acmé, which means peak or prime.
However, their delivery service is next to none. We’ve all seen the coyote drop an order in the mailbox and have it in his hands in a matter of seconds.
3. Sirius Cybernetics Corporation
From: Hitchhiker’s Guide
Known for catchy jingles and catchphrases, the Sirius Corp. is a manufacturer and supplier of androids, autonomic assistants and robots, across the universe. Some of their creations include depressed robots, annoying ringtones, evil Bill Gates, Uggs and smart Happy Vertical People Transporters.
The company also seems to only have two divisions: marketing and complaints. Unfortunately, their marketing department is described in the novel as “a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came.”
And just like Acme, their product quality leaves much to be desired. However, any design flaws are always covered up by the marketing team.
Meanwhile, the complaints department seems to be the most profitable of the two divisions. It’s also so large that it expands across the entirety of the first three planets in the Sirius Tau system.
There has been a lot of talk abut Sirius Corp merging with Microsoft in the future.
As the company name suggests, MomCorp is owned by, well, Mom. Her name is really Carol, but one rarely hears her being called that. This CEO is known to be extremely cold-hearted. However, she maintains a sweet and kind profile in the public’s eye, courtesy of her PR team.
Although it is unknown when MomCorp was created, it was already up and running as Friendly Robot Company in 2801, and was most likely renamed Mom’s Friendly Robot Company in 2972 after Mom was contracted by DOOP to mine dark matter from planet Vergon 6.
The corporation mostly focuses on electronic al goods, such as hairdryers, coffee machines, toasters and spaceships, but they are primarily known for their Friendly Robot Company subsidiary, which focuses on manufacturing most of the world’s robots.
They also produce robot related items such as oil and parts, and holds patents to a number of words, including ‘Mom’, ‘love’ and ‘screen door’.
Mom owns 99.7 per cent of the company while her sons Walt, Larry and Igner each get a meagre 0.1 per cent.
Much like other conglomerates, the company has absorbed many competing companies such as Plan Ex.