The Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles (CHOAM) is a fictional universal development corporation in Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert
Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr. was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author. Although a short story author, he is best known for his novels, most notably Dune and its five sequels...

's Dune universe
Dune universe
Dune is a science fiction franchise which originated with the 1965 novel Dune by Frank Herbert. Considered by many to be the greatest science fiction novel of all time, Dune is frequently cited as the best-selling science fiction novel in history...

, first mentioned in the 1965 novel Dune
Dune (novel)
Dune is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert, published in 1965. It won the Hugo Award in 1966, and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel...

. Essentially, it controls all economic affairs across the cosmos, although it relies upon the Spacing Guild
Spacing Guild
The Spacing Guild is an organization in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. With its monopoly on interstellar travel and banking, the Guild is a balance of power against the Padishah Emperor and the assembled noble Houses of the Landsraad...

 for transport across space due to the Guild's monopoly on interstellar travel.
The corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

's management and board of directors
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

 are controlled by the Padishah Emperor
Padishah Emperor
Padishah Emperor is the title given to the hereditary rulers of the Old Empire in the science fiction Dune universe created by Frank Herbert.-Original series:...

 and the Landsraad
The Landsraad is a fictional organization in Frank Herbert's Dune universe. It is the assembly of all noble Houses in the Imperium.-Overview:...

 (with the Spacing Guild and the Bene Gesserit
Bene Gesserit
The Bene Gesserit are a key social, religious, and political force in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. The group is described as an exclusive sisterhood whose members train their bodies and minds through years of physical and mental conditioning to obtain superhuman powers and...

 as silent partner
Silent partner
Silent partner may refer to:*An anonymous member of a business partnership, or one uninvolved in management*The Silent Partner, the name of several films*Silent partner , a piece of climbing equipment...

s). Because of its control of inter-planetary commerce, CHOAM is the largest single source of wealth in the Old Empire; as such, influence in CHOAM (through partisans within it and control of directorships) is the central goal of political maneuvering, both to receive dividend
Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholder members. It is the portion of corporate profits paid out to stockholders. When a corporation earns a profit or surplus, that money can be put to two uses: it can either be re-invested in the business , or it can be distributed to...

s and also (it is implied) to skim off profits. In Dune, Herbert notes:
Before the climactic battle in Dune, Paul Muad'Dib's Fremen
The Fremen are a group of people in the fictional Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. First appearing in the 1965 novel Dune, the Fremen inhabit the desert planet Arrakis and are based on the desert-dwelling Bedouin and Kalahari Bushmen. In Herbert's novels, Arrakis is the sole known source...

 watch the Padishah Emperor
Padishah Emperor
Padishah Emperor is the title given to the hereditary rulers of the Old Empire in the science fiction Dune universe created by Frank Herbert.-Original series:...

's encampment to see whether he would raise the Atreides
Atreides may refer to:* Atreides , descendants of Greek mythical/mythological figure Atreus* House Atreides, a fictional noble family in Frank Herbert's Dune universe...

 flag, indicating a recognition of Paul's claims, or the banner of Paul's Harkonnen
Harkonnen may refer to:*House Harkonnen, the fictional noble family in the Dune series of novels and films*Dune: House Harkonnen, the second book in the Prelude to Dune series, written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson...

enemies. Instead, the Emperor raises the flag of CHOAM, as a reminder to all of the combatant parties that economics trump political considerations.
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