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The term affiliate is used to describe the relationship between two entities wherein one owns less than a majority stake in the other's stock. Affiliations can also describe a type of relationship in which at least two different companies are subsidiaries of a larger parent company. Most recently, affiliation has been a popular form of marketing for eCommerce companies.
A corporation may be referred to as an "affiliate" of another when it is related to it but not strictly controlled by it, as with a subsidiary relationship, or when it is desired to avoid the appearance of control. This is sometimes seen with companies that need to avoid restrictive laws (or negative public opinion) on foreign ownership.
The process where an organization will pay commission to an affiliate to promote their products either through a website, blog, email or social media. Affiliate marketing brings the power of network effects to brand outreach, using current customers and ambassadors as a channel for marketing outreach.