"Megacorporation" 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) and Andre Norton (the Solar Queen novels).
Almost all depictions of a megacorporation show them as amoral (unconcerned with using ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in their decision-making process) operating purely out of a desire to achieve productivity, profit and efficiency as a machine would. Very few corporations in the world currently meet the criteria to be considered true megacorporations, so the concept remains contained in the realm of speculative fiction.
Although the term itself arose out of science fiction, certain real-life corporations have achieved or approached megacorporation status in various ways. Today antitrust laws in various countries attempt to address megacorporation status.
The Dutch East India Company was the first multinational corporation in the world to issue stock. It was also arguably the world's first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, negotiate treaties, coin money, and establish colonies.
Disney is one of the few multinational corporations to achieve a large degree of self-governmental control, in the Florida region known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Within this district, the Disney corporation has the legal authority to establish its own building codes, power plants, and utilities, fire departments, and to seize land outside the district under eminent domain. The corporation protects itself from outside interference by permitting only Disney employees to own land within the district, keeping voting power to elect district managers (also Disney employees) within company control, and thereby preventing restriction on company actions and projects within the district.
The East India Company played the role of a megacorporation in India, raising its own army and administering large portions of the Indian subcontinent for 250 years, before being absorbed into the British Raj.
The United Fruit Company had major influences on the structure of Central American governments in the early 20th century. They owned land and were in charge of the land and had an army to fight and guard it, along with the United States Armed Forces.
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Megacorporation — Mégacorporation Mégacorporation est un terme popularisé par William Gibson, dérivé de la combinaison du préfixe méga et du mot corporation. Cette expression est devenue couramment utilisée dans la littérature cyberpunk, et est souvent abrégée… … Wikipédia en Français
Megacorporation — (griech. μέγας: groß, corporation engl.: Unternehmen) bezeichnet ein meist historisches Unternehmen oder Unternehmenskonglomerat, das sich durch seine enorme Machtfülle auszeichnet. Typisch sind eine Monopolstellung, die Macht, Gesetze zu… … Deutsch Wikipedia
megacorporation — or megacorp Gen Mgt an informal term for an extremely large and powerful business organization … The ultimate business dictionary
Mégacorporation — Dans la littérature cyberpunk, une mégacorporation est un énorme conglomérat ayant le monopole, ou le quasi monopole sur de multiples marchés (matières premières, technologies de pointe, services, etc.). Les mégacorporations sont si puissantes qu … Wikipédia en Français
megacorporation — noun Date: 1971 a huge and powerful corporation … New Collegiate Dictionary
megacorporation — /meg euh kawr peuh ray sheuhn/, n. a giant company formed from two or more large companies or a number of companies of various sizes. Also called megacompany. [MEGA + CORPORATION] * * * … Universalium
megacorporation — noun A large and powerful corporation … Wiktionary
megacorporation — mega·corporation … English syllables
megacorporation — ˌ noun Etymology: mega + corporation : a very large corporation * * * /meg euh kawr peuh ray sheuhn/, n. a giant company formed from two or more large companies or a number of companies of various sizes. Also called megacompany. [MEGA +… … Useful english dictionary
Méga-corporation — Mégacorporation Mégacorporation est un terme popularisé par William Gibson, dérivé de la combinaison du préfixe méga et du mot corporation. Cette expression est devenue couramment utilisée dans la littérature cyberpunk, et est souvent abrégée… … Wikipédia en Français