One very clear way of showing it's The Future is to show that two corporations which nowadays are blood rivals have merged into a Mega Corp. Played for dystopian drama, this may be a symptom of an Assimilation Plot or One Nation Under Copyright. In the more distant future, this may also happen to countries, and in the even more distant future, to religions. The Big International Clubs may come into play here. Compare Japan Takes Over the World, China Takes Over the World, Mexico Called; They Want Texas Back. Contrast Balkanize Me and Divided States of America. Can be used as a subtrope of Bland-Name Product if just to write around trademarks.
open/close all folders
- In the future of Marvel 2099, Stark industries was bought out by Japanese corporation Fujikawa, forming Stark-Fujikawa, one of the many Mega-Corporations of the setting. Recursively, Iron Man comics later established Fujikawa as a rival to Stark in The Present Day. The merger even happened in the present day, around the time that Iron Man was stuck in an alternate universe for a year, with Fujikawa CEO's daughter Rumiko becoming Tony's main love interest.
- In the Eppy/Orion era of Grendel, Christianity has been reunified under the Pope at Vatican Quest.
- Demolition Man: "Taco Bell was the only restaurant to survive the Franchise Wars. Now all restaurants are Taco Bell." None of the restaurants are anything like the "old" Taco Bell because all junk food is outlawed so now the company is "Taco Bell" In-Name-Only.
- In the original Alien series, the Weyland-Yutani corporation appears to be the dominant commercial entity. The expedition in AVP: Alien vs. Predator was funded by Weyland, as was the one in the pseudo-prequel Prometheus, while Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem shows Yutani corporation showing up to investigate recovered technology at the end, and is implied to already have some knowledge. According to Word of God, this meant to imply that England and Japan become the major superpowers of the future. Alien: Resurrection takes it further by mentioning Weyland-Yutani got bought out by Walmart.
- Early revisions of the script had the company named "Leland-Toyota", making it an even more literal version of the trope.
- Pitch Black has 'Chrislam' pilgrims heading for the planet of New Mecca.
- In the film Americathon, Jews and Arabs have finally put aside their differences and formed "Hebrab National," a future (post-reconciliation) "Hebrew National." Great Britain has also become a U.S. state.
- In Fast Times at Fairmont High and Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge, the major entertainment conglomerates include Foxwarner and Spielberg / Rowling.
- Part of the plot of the novel The Demolished Man was when the head of one mega-corp suggested a merger with his main rival, and the answer he read was no.
- Robert A. Heinlein
- In one book, there's Rolls-Skoda, specialists in the production of luxury armoured cars.
- Another book refers to the "Montgomery Sears catalog," if anyone remembers old Montgomery Wards
- Another refers to "Lockheed-Volkswagen" - referred to in the context of rental spaceships, but considering the component companies it probably manufactures ships as well.
- True to this trope's name: in Robert J. Sawyer's novel Rollback, Coca-Cola and Pepsi merged at some point in the mid-21st century. The protagonist was delighted he never had to hear a waiter ask apologetically "Is Pepsi okay?" ever again.
- In Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville, the main character passes himself off as a journalist for the Figaro-Pravda.
- Nancy Kress' Beggars in Spain makes extensive use of this trope. Two examples are Samsung-Chrysler and Kessler-Eagle (both manufacturers of motor scooters).
- CHOAM in Dune by Frank Herbert. The Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles is THE corporation in the universe. It sells anything the Spacing Guild can transport (from rice and donkeys to whale fur and the all-important spice). Every House in the Imperium relies upon CHOAM directorship for profits and power.
- In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, Eurogen-Butler in the Bernice Summerfield novel Another Girl, Another Planet is a merger of the Butler Institute from the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Cat's Cradle: Warhead and Eurogen from the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Seeing I. It later becomes the Spinward Corporation, seen in the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Deceit.
- Cory Doctorow's novel Makers has a major character unveil a new company called Kodacell, created by taking over both Kodak and Duracell, and merging them.
- There's a brief reference in the Honor Harrington novel Shadow of Saganami to Daniels-Beam whiskey.
- Dune has several examples of religious mergers: the Orange Catholic Bible is an effort of the Council of Ecumenical Translators which was made up of representatives of all faiths with more than a million followers. The result was supposed to be a universal (i.e. catholic) representation of beliefs. It was not well received. At first.
- There are also less economical one-on-one mixtures such as Navachristians and Buddislamics (who divide into Zensunnis and Zenshiites).
- Philip K. Dick was particularly fond of this: in several novels (notably The Divine Invasion) there was a merger between the Catholic Church and the Soviet Union in the backstory.
- The Life of Pi's main character, Piscine Molitor Patel, was born a Hindu but chooses to simultaneously practice both Islam and Christianity too as he grows up. His reason: he "just wants to love God."
- Enigma Babylon One World Faith in the Left Behind books, which consists of Roman Catholicism merged with various "heretical" Christian sects (as defined by the books' authors and the Tribulation Force characters) as well as other world religions.
- The Humanx Commonwealth's United Church integrates ethical and philosophical principles from both human and thranx belief systems. Potential contradictions or conflicts between the various faiths of Earth and Hivehom are reconciled by the Church not taking itself too seriously.
- The Church of the Global Standard Deity (GSD for short) in the Thursday Next series.
- The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway has the United Island Kingdoms of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Cuba Libre (popularly known as Cubritannia).
- In the sci-fi book Skinned by Robin Wassermann, China and India have merged into Chindia.
- Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia in Nineteen Eighty-Four are the only three nations in the world. They each need the perpetual state of war that exists between them to maintain their respective tyrannies, which are all basically the same.
- The CoDominium series features a future where the United States and Soviet Union decided to stop fighting and cooperate in carving up the planet (and then the galaxy) together. This, of course, had to get retconned after The Great Politics Mess-Up.
- For Your Safety features anthropomoprhic robots manufactured by Google-Sony.
- Appears on seaQuest DSV as an aside.
The World Bank transaction network is the arterial channel through which the real money flows. Money, with a capital M. Not just the mortgage on your house or even Apple Computer buying Microsoft. This money controls armies, governments, even confederations.
- In a variation, Red Dwarf does this to currency: in The Future, the unit of exchange is the dollarpound, made up of 100 pennycents, and known in slang as 'buckquid'.
- Alternate History example: in the Fringe alternate universe, Shell and Exxon have merged into Shexxon.
- Firefly is a subtle example, as the only explicitly religious ceremony it shows is a funeral which combines Christian and Buddhist elements, which may just be Artistic License – Religion.
- The Alliance from the Firefly 'verse started out as an alliance between the United States and China.
- Andromeda has Wayism, founded by a Magog who found God and decided all religions were true.
- Doctor Who: In "Sleep No More", set in the 38th century, India and Japan have become one nation. Remarks by the Doctor imply this was a physical merger in the wake of a "Great Catastrophe", not solely a political alliance.
- In a Season 7 episode of Parks and Recreation, it's revealed Verizon, Exxon and Chipotle merged into one company called Verexxotle.
- Shadowrun had a few examples of this: Chrysler-Nissan, Daihatsu-Caterpillar, Federated Boeing (Boeing plus McDonnell Douglas, before it happened in Real Life), Fiat-Fokker, Honda-GM, Lear-Cessna, Messerschmitt-Kawasaki, Renault-Fiat and Sikorsky-Bell. Somewhat justified as the first Matrix Crash left all but the most powerful Mega Corps limping, and corporations either merged together in a desperate bid for survival or were swooped up by larger entities.
- Cyberpunk 2020 did this, though it tended to truncate names ("Toyo-san").
- Tech Infantry has various bits of military and other hardware manufactured either by totally fictional companies (XTRON Labs) or fictional mergers (Boeing Airbus and Sukhoi Grumman build space fighters, for example).
- The Aberrant role-playing game has ViaSoft, a megacorporation formed by a merger between Viacom and Microsoft.
- Of Thee I Sing mentions in the patter of "Love Is Sweeping The Country":
Chevrolet and Ford
Have felt this cosmic urging;
They, with one accord,
Have kissed and now are merging.
- A recurring example in Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is the Square-Enix-Goya company, not only providing vidcons and food, but also weapons and coats.
- The EG-R and Xios corporations from Wipeout Fusion merged into EG-X by the time of Wipeout Pulse.
- In one of the Alternate Universes visited in Portal2's perpetual testing initiative, you can hear a PA announcement where Cave Johnson announces that he's bought out Black Mesa, forming "Blappature Mesa".
- System Shock's Tri-Optimum corporation started out as a merge of two soft drinks producers. However, it was not stated whether these drinks were Pepsi and Cola.
- Capcom's video game series Strider is implied to be set in one of these: "Ah, Strider Hiryu! He will never leave Eurasia alive!"
- In Fear, Loathing and Gumbo on the Campaign Trail '72, Marvel Comics goes bankrupt at the end of The '70s and is bought by DC Comics, with plans to merge the two comics universes under the DC banner.
- The Onion article "All Corporations Merge Into Omnicorp."
- David Langford's spoof Ansible from 2095 mentions the publishers HarperCollinsGollanczHodderHeadlinePanPenguinTransworld and ArrowOrbitMillennium. Ironically, since then Gollancz, Hodder Headline, and Millennium have become part of the Orion Group (but then, Random House already owned Transworld and Arrow), suggesting two Coca-Pepsi imprints of one Coca-Pepsi company.
- "Winux" (Windows Linux) from Sluggy Freelance. note There's also the non-future example of Sasha being a delivery person for "Up-Ex".
- "Samsony" (Samsung Sony) from Schlock Mercenary. Sergeant Schlock's drug of choice being a powdery substance named Ovalqwik, one can infer that the brands Ovomaltine (Ovaltine in the US) and Nestle's Quik have also become a single entity. There was also a reference to playing "Master Chief Mario" on a "WiiBox".
- Pangaeism, the most politically correct religion ever, is briefly mentioned in Last Res0rt, apparently they have a minor holy war every time a new species is contacted and the scripture needs to be revised to include their mythology.
- In the sci-fi webcomic Starslip, the crew is sent to explore a Ghost Ship that once belonged to the "Canamerexican Alliance". The comic is set so far in the future that this conglomeration is now just a part of their ancient history, having given way to global and interstellar governments.
- The Simpsons:
- Fictional companies Matsumoto Fishworks and Tamarabuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern combined to create Mr. Sparkle dishwashing detergent, whose mascot looks just like Homer.
- The episode Lisa's Wedding, set in the far-off world of 2010, has Kent Brockman working for "CNNBCBS: A Division of ABC". Fox, on the other hand, became a hardcore porn channel so gradually that nobody even noticed.
- One episode mentions the 51st state of the United States, Saudi-Israelia.
- The church which most of the main characters go to; the Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism.
- HBOWTIME: It's not just TV...it's more expensive!
- The DCAU has Wayne-Powers from Batman Beyond.
- Father Changstein El-Gamal of the First Amalgamated Church on Futurama.
- In the Fairly Odd Parents episode where Timmy wished that he was always right, Crocker asked him how many states there were and Timmy said 49. Suddenly, North and South Dakota reunited into one state.
"The Dakotas have settled their differences!"
- At the end of the "Go God Go" episode of South Park, the world has done away with all -isms. However, there is still war, as "French-Chinese thinks they have the rights to Hawaii." (which means they still kept Imperialism, apparently)
- Video games examples:
- A Real Life example, or close to one, is how Sega and Nintendo now work closely together after their intense rivalry in the 90s. An even closer example nearly happened when Sega tried in 2002 to negotiate a merger with Microsoft's Useful Notes/Xbox division, but talks fell through at the last minute.
- Several video game companies have done this as a result of mergers/buyouts, including Square Enix, Koei Tecmo, Activision Blizzard, and Bandai Namco Entertainment.
- The newly-merged Square Enix bought other companies that now are all under the Square Enix banner, most prominently Taito Conglomerate and Eidos Interactive (later merged into Square Enix Europe.)
- SNK went bankrupt in 2001 but was quickly bought by Playmore Corporation, a company founded by Eikichi Kawashima, SNK's original founder. After acquiring all of SNK's franchises, Playmore changed its name to SNK Playmore in 2003, which stuck until April 2016, when the company dropped the "Playmore" part of its name as a move to return to its roots.
- In the early 2000s, SNK itself acquired ADK, one of its third-party developers, and folded all of its characters into the larger SNK multiverse.
- Another real-life example that surprised some people in the graphic design community: Adobe buying Macromedia.
- Boeing. Once there were dozens of major aviation companies in the US, now only Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, and Northrop-Grumman exist.
- And note all the compound names:
- The Boeing Airplane Company (usually just called Boeing) merged with McDonnell Douglas (which was a merger of McDonnell and Douglas), taking the name The Boeing Company (usually just called Boeing) — and despite the naming most of the management of the united company came from MD side. Boeing also incorporated MD's stylized "airplane circumnavigating the globe" emblem into their new logo. Boeing also acquired North American Rockwell (a merger of North American Aviation with Rockwell International).
- Lockheed-Martin was formed from the merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta (which was a merger of, you guessed it, Martin and Marietta).
- Northrop-Grumman was formed from the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop.
- General Motors: Cadillac, Pontiac (originally Oakland), Buick and Holden were all once independent companies. GM Asia was spun off and bought by chaebol Daewoo and when the company fell apart the automobile arm was reintegrated into GM.
- Fiat owns: Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and Abarth, as well as being the sole member of the Chrysler Group LLC, which includes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, and Mopar.
- Which now also owns a majority of VAZnote as well, and actually managed to start breaking it from its traditional Alleged Car niche.
- Volkswagen owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, Skoda, Ducati and Porsche.
- Volvo is now owned by Geely Automobile Holdings, and MG by the Nanjing Automobile Group (both Chinese).
- BMW owns Rolls-Royce, Mini, and Triumph
- PSA Peugeot Citroën, who later acquired Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors in 2017.
- The American Motors Corporation caused quite a lot of Coca-Pepsi merging. AMC was a merge of Nash Motors and Hudson (and was going to include the high-end Studebaker/Packard company, until the director died). They bought and modernized Jeep, and did well for a while until their declining profits caused them to be bought by Renault - when that happened, they had to sell their military division, AM General (who would later make the HMMWV / HUMMER, which was then produced by General Motors). Renault gave up after a few years and sold the rest of the company to Chrysler, who wanted it primarily for Jeep. Ironically, Chrysler unsuccessfully sued GM for using the Jeep grill on the Hummer.
- The two American satellite radio networks, XM and Sirius merged, becoming SiriusXM.
- The shipping companies Cunard (owner of the Lusitania) and White Star Line (owner of the Titanic), bitter rivals for the transatlantic travel during The Edwardian Era, merged in 1934 as a result of The Great Depression.
- How modern banks got to be "too big to fail." For instance, in the early 1990s Americans might have banked with Chemical Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank or J. P. Morgan, all of whom were competing to provide banking services. By the end of the decade, Chase Manhattan had bought Chemical and had then been bought by J. P. Morgan. (Illustration.)
- The modern Macy's, Inc. is made of this trope, many times over. The Other Wiki lists 31 department store chains that were renamed Macy's...that doesn't count the stores that those chains had previously taken over (including historical rival Gimbels.) Many of them were beloved regional stores like Filene's, Rich's, Foley's and Burdines; many Marshall Field's customers still haven't gotten over it. It's even more complicated than that. The May Company merged with Federated, which then renamed the more lucrative May stores into the more well-known Kaufmanns. Federated then bought Macys and decided to take the now-Kaufmanns that were at this point more lucrative but less well known than Macys and rename them into Macys.
- World Wrestling Entertainment bought up both of its biggest '90s rivals, WCW and ECW, and though both former feds had an angle devoted to them (and ECW had a run as a WWE "brand", neither of them is extant in WWE now. The E has also bought up the rights to the tape libraries of virtually all the important territories in US wrestling as well, including former rival the American Wrestling Association.
- Back in The '80s there were two rival satellite broadcasters in the UK; Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB). Now, there is BSkyB.
- The Scottish football team Inverness Caledonian Thistle was formed in 1994 by a a merger between Inverness Thistle and Caledonian FC. Bitter rivals in the Highland League, they thought (correctly) it would increase their chances of entering the Scottish Third Division. They're now in the Scottish Premier League.
- In Mixed Martial Arts, the American UFC promotion and the Japanese Pride FC promotion duked it out for a number of years to become the biggest source for MMA. Most people agreed that Pride had a better stable of fighters, but the UFC had much better penetration in the American market. In 2006, Pride was forced to shut down over charges of Yakuza involvement. The UFC bought Pride, absorbed most of its fighters, and dismantled it, becoming the dominant source of MMA in the world. It has also bought a number of other rival promotions over the years, including the WEC and Strikeforce.
- This happens a lot with American railroads. A notable example is the New York Central System and the Pennsylvania Railroad. These large railroads were bitter rivals for the first half of the 20th century until they merged in 1968 and became Penn Central.
- Another example is the Norfolk & Western Railway and the Southern Railway merging in 1982 and becoming the Norfolk Southern Railway.
- In 1996 the Burlington Northern Railway and the Santa Fe Railway merged and became the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway or BNSF.
- ThyssenKrupp, formed from Thyssen AG and Friedrich Krupp AG in 1999 (talks had occurred in the early 80s, and partial merging occurred in 1997), both German steel manufacturers.
- Not a merger, but a strange joint venture was Microsoft and NBC, to make MSNBC. Microsoft eventually sold out to NBC.
- There's too many examples of bigger tech companies buying out smaller firms and integrating them into their offerings that it could be its own article. Some famous examples are AMD buying GPU designer ATi and Google purchasing Android Inc.
- Hamburg-Amerikanische Paketfahrt-Aktien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG) of Hamburg and Norddeutscher Lloyd AG of Bremen merged into HAPAG-Lloyd AG.
- The second largest paper manufacturer in the world, Stora Enso note was formed as the merger of Swedish Stora Kopparbergs Bergslag AB and Finnish Enso Gutzeit Oyj. Measured by history of Stora Kopparbergs Bergslag, it is one of the oldest joint-stock corporations today in existence. Enso, on the other hand, had been the oldest paper manufacturer in Finland.
- Exxon and Mobil (the latter which was the result of the merger of Standard Oil New York and Standard Oil New Jersey) merged to become ExxonMobil in 1999.
- Pinball examples:
- Longtime arcade game giant Bally acquired competitor Midway Manufacturing in 1969 and became Bally/Midway. In turn, they were acquired by Williams Electronics in 1988, and operated for a decade making pinballs and video games with all three brand names. In 1998, the company spun off the video game division as Midway Games, then closed the pinball division a year later. Midway Games, in turn, ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2009 and was bought by Warner Bros.
- Meanwhile, Stern Electronics (run by former Williams Electronics' president Sam Stern) was a moderately successful pinball company in The '70s, but was hammered by the growth of Video Games and closed in 1985. Their pinball assets were purchased by Data East, but Data East Pinball was sold to Sega in 1994. In turn, Sega Pinball was sold in 1999 to Gary Stern (son of Sam) and renamed Stern Pinball.
- Crossing over with Bland-Name Product, cheap China-made electronics tend to have brands like these. For example Tobishi (an amalgamation of Toshiba and Mitsubishi) and the unforgettable Panashiba (Panasonic + Toshiba), among others.
- Messianic Jewish religions such as Jews for Jesus may qualify.
- The United Church of Canada was formed by the merger of the Methodists, most of the Presbyterians, and the Congregationalists. A similar set-up occurred with the Uniting Church in Australia. In fact, uniting churches is quite common.
- Unitarian Universalism formed from the merger of the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association in 1961. Nowadays they go even further by allowing anyone to be a member regardless of their personal religious beliefs. Even atheists and agnostics are allowed to be members.
- 'Chrislam' is actually a real sect in Nigeria.
- The Bahá'í Faith is partly an attempt at this.
- Virtually all modern countries were formed by merger, often involving conquest, of smaller states.
- Historical examples include Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Czechoslovakia, and Austro-Hungarian Empire. The current biggest examples are the United Kingdom (of Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) and Northern Ireland) and, of course, the United States of America. The European Union can be seen as an attempt to do this without conquest.
- French movie magazines Studio and Ciné Live merged and became Studio Ciné Live.