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Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far Future
Merchant companies whose territory covers the entire Imperium. Staggering in size, these organisations are so large that no one person can know everything they are concerned with at any given moment. Total shares of stock, annual profits, number of employees are all astronomical. Many are so large that different divisions of the same megacorporation can be working at cross-purposes.
In most regions, megacorporations merely own the land their installations are located on; however, in some areas they control entire planets, either directly or indirectly. Their brands, trade names, and service marks have come to be universally recognised throughout the Imperium and beyond.
Most megacorporations are organised like smaller companies, with a board of directors, a president, and vice-presidents. However, the board and the higher-level executive officers of the company are largely out of touch with the day-to-day (or even year-to-year) functioning of the company. They only plan general policy and a few long-distance actions.
The most important executives, in terms of personal power, are the various regional managers (by whatever name they may be called). A regional manager may only control a small portion of a megacorporation's total assets, but may hold more power in some regions than the local representatives of the Imperial government. Provided they do not blatantly violate Imperial soverignty, regional managers can usually conduct their company's business as they see fit.
A small number of Imperial regulatory agencies have power over megacorporations, and megacorporations are subject to local taxes. A direct confrontation with the Imperium would be bad for business, so intentional violation of Imperial laws is done only on a covert basis.
Only a very few commercial enterprises grow large enough to extend their activities to every corner of the Imperium. In fact, there are only thirteen megacorporations within the Imperium. It is difficult for a company to grow to the size of a megacorporation unless it has the protection of a suitably- sized government.
Some of the interstellar empires surrounding the Imperium have grown to the size that they can also support megacorporations. In addition to those within the Imperium, there are another thirteen megacorporations operating in the adjoining territories. In comparison, the largest of these is perhaps median-sized when compared with an Imperial megacorporation; the smallest is smaller than any of the Imperial companies.
All corporations engaging in interstellar commerce are required to possess an Imperial Charter. This is indicated by the letters "LIC" (Limited Imperial Charter) following the company name. Occasionally, corporations make use of old titles, such as Ltd, Inc, AG, SA, etc. This is done to indicate that the company pre-dates the Third Imperium (rarely the case) or to add quaintness and charm to the title.
A few Vilani megacorporations are still in business under their Vilani titles: Makhidkarun, Naasirka, Sharurshid, and Zirunkariish. These names, at least, date back to the First Imperium, and were the names of the Vilani organisations - half industrial trusts, half government bureaus - which controlled commerce in the Vilani Imperium.
The thirteen megacorporations within the Imperium are:
Ref: SUPP-8, 1107; MT-PLAYERS, 1120; MT-REFCOMP, 1120