Megacorporation, or megacorp, is a term popularized by William Gibson derived from the combination of the prefix mega- with the word corporation. It has become a term popularly used in cyberpunk literature. It refers to a corporation (normally fictional) that is a massive conglomerate, holding monopolistic or near-monopolistic control over multiple markets (thus exhibiting both a horizontal and a vertical monopoly). Megacorps are so powerful that they can ignore the law, possess their own heavily armed (often military-sized) private armies, hold 'sovereign' territory, and possibly even act as outright governments. They often exercise a large degree of control over their employees, taking the idea of 'corporate culture' to an extreme. Such organizations are a staple of science fiction long predating cyberpunk, appearing in the works of writers such as Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Thea von Harbou (Metropolis), Robert A. Heinlein (Citizen of the Galaxy), Robert Asprin (The Cold Cash War), Andre Norton (the Solar Queen novels) and David Weber ("the "Honorverse" novels).
A more modern form to represent a Mega Corporation (M-CORP), is a centralised system of governance surrounding around influencing a decentralized corporate structure entirely coinsistent with smaller sized corporations and businesses that have complete and utter independence from the Corporate Governing Body e.g. M-CORP that influences them, the corporate structure that governs a M-CORP is entirely founded on the principle of having a non-monopolised system which in turn desecrates existing Major Corporations if legally enforced within a current day situation, in the sense that it forces them to face legal governance by the higher archy than to be allowed to self-govern itself with the general traits resemblance of that of failing to obide by the laws of National and International Governments and Organisations similar to that of "American Domination" faced by those outside and inside of the United States of America at present day. An example of a recent change to a MEGA CORP is Google that has just recently announced that is turning into a MEGA CORP with the recent change in transition from Google Inc to being under a Parent Company named Alphabet Inc, as announced by Google through this Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33857412
Although the term itself arose out of science fiction, certain real-life corporations, such as colonial-era chartered companies and zaibatsu, have achieved or approached megacorporation status in various ways. The private Dutch East India Company, for example, operated 40 warships and had 10,000 private soldiers to monitor its farflung spice empire, while the British East India Company controlled a large colonial empire in the mid-19th Century before the company was dissolved and its territories absorbed into the British Empire. The Hudson's Bay Company was once the world's largest landowner, exercising legal control and a trading monopoly on its territory known as Rupert's Land which consisted of 15% of the North American land mass.
Today many countries have competition laws (also known as antitrust laws) to prevent real-life corporations from having mega-corporation characteristics. On the other hand, some countries protect a certain industry deemed important by mandating that only a single company, usually state owned can operate in it. An example of the latter is Saudi Arabia, which gains the majority of its government revenues through its mega-corporation Saudi Aramco.
- Company town
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- List of largest corporations