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a commercial company or enterprise
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



one of most developed forms of monopolist associations, characterized by a unity of ownership and control. It is the prevailing form of monopoly in contemporary developed capitalist countries. Member enterprises are subject to the control of the financial magnates heading the concern. Sometimes a special company, the holding company, is set up to act as a managing body of the concern; the holding company will have a controlling interest in many different companies.

Concerns were first founded in Germany after World War I. They developed further with the growth of new forms of production concentration, above all the integration in the ferrous and nonferrous metal industry, the coal and oil processing industries, and the chemical industry. In the 1920’s the concentration and centralization of capital became widespread in the USA. There the process was vertical; that is, it consisted of the combination of successive stages of the production process, from the initial raw materials to various finished products.

After World War II, the concerns, influenced by the scientific-technological revolution and the intensification of uneven economic development and the competitive struggle among the capitalist monopolies, assumed new features: their intersectorial diversification, because of the specific conditions of capital accumulation, became more pronounced; fundamental and applied research grew; and the number of large scientific laboratories and experimental shops and departments increased. After the war, the number of international concerns increased greatly.

The decisive advantages of the concerns in the sharp competitive struggle stem from large-scale integrated production, constant introduction of advanced technology, the output of new types of products, the concentration of patents, the possession of production secrets, the accumulation of know-how, and the development of self-financing.

Bourgeois apologists try to represent the concern as an efficient and progressive organization. However, the activity of a concern clearly shows how technological progress under capitalism enriches small groups of large-scale owners and managers and how the progressive aspects are organically interwoven with economic stagnation.


Politicheskaia ekonomiia sovremennogo monopolisticheskogo kapitalizma, vol. 1. Moscow, 1970. Chapter 6.
Khmel’nitskaia, E. L. Ocherki sovremennoi monopolii. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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