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With the expanse of technology, the ability to share ideas, thoughts and technology also has spawned the ability for various businesses to increase their customer-base as well as what they peddle. The result of this, for good or ill, is the establishment of Megacorporations; sovereign entities in their own right that can control several star systems by direct ownership or by sheer influence or proxy.
The most well known megacorporations have expanded to control their home planets or, in some instances, abandoned their home systems outright and now own entire planetary sectors. These massive companies tend to have numerous conglomerates, subsidiaries and other companies that are merely smaller manifestations of the parent company. Some of these smaller companies may be in direct competition with each other and may not realize that they are owned by a particular megacorporation and will conduct business as usual. The end result of this is a megacorporation’s ability to maintain its monopoly-like grasp and yet still appear to allow free competition. This sort of behavior is especially useful in areas that are particularly unfriendly to monopolies or megacorporations in general.
It should be noted however, that the massive operations of the largest megacorporations is an exception and not the rule. Most megacorporations operate on a large, though still primarily local scale that rarely drifts beyond the company’s home planet or system. An example of this is Toyota Industries who are the primary producers and distributors of private civilian transportation vehicles in the Sol System. Despite the size and influence that Toyota possesses in this regard, they are virtually unknown outside of Earth Sector.
Regardless of the size or scale of operations that a megacorporation has, the primary determining factor is that company’s own sovereignty. Some races would consider a company that has a vast, almost indisputable and unstoppable influence on a planet or star system, regardless of the governing body, as a megacorporation due to the fact that the governing body has little control over what the company does. Other races would not consider such an operation, vast as it may be, as a megacorporation because this company may not possess the ability to defend itself effectively from outside threats. For example, while Toyota controls a massive portion (98%) of Earth Sector’s production and distribution of private civilian transportation vehicles and has enough influence to shut down entire economies in Earth Sector by simply packing up and leaving should things not go their way, should an outside force pose a genuine military threat, Toyota would not be able to defend itself or its resources with its own equipment. Instead, Toyota would have to rely on the local government(s) or whatever mercenaries it could hire to defend its interests.
Some races accept and honor the existence and sovereignty of megacorporations as a rule while others do not. In those races that do accept the existence of megacorporations, determining sovereignty varies from race to race. For example, the Gramandans assign levels of capital and earnings. When a company is bringing in enough money and possesses a certain degree of planetary influence, the company is viewed as being a sovereign entity in their eyes. In contrast, the Gartakians dislike such institutions and will only acknowledge that an entity is a sovereign nation if it possesses its own territory that it can suitably defend on its own. The Alliance acknowledges megacorporations as independent entities if those companies have grown to a sufficient size that they have an internal self-sustaining economy, the ability to defend itself from outside threats and have submitted the appropriate paperwork and traversed the bureaucracy.
The following list of megacorporations consists of the most known or well-established in civilized space: