Storms on Trajaras
The CHOAM (an acronym for Combine Honette Ober Advancer Mercantiles) company also serves as the principal development corporation within the Imperium. With offices and representatives on nearly every world and outpost, CHOAM and its countless subsidiaries reach into the daily lives of every Imperial citizen.
Since it is controlled by the Emperor and the Great Houses themselves (with the Spacing Guild and Bene Gesserit as silent partners), CHOAM’s interests extend into every conceivable area of production, research, and development. From the gas mines of Avara to the wilderness preserves on Ecaz, from petrochemicals on Giedi Prime to vat-grown biologicals on Tleilax, the CHOAM banner is an ever-present symbol of the all-encompassing nature of Imperial power.
CHOAM control and influence permeates Imperial commerce and production. CHOAM representatives can be found on homeworlds throughout the Known Universe, overseeing the means of production
and manufacturing on thousands of worlds. These representatives are responsible for enforcing and setting production quotas, collecting tithes, debts and company fees, maintaining the balance of trade in assigned regions and supporting or instituting official sanctions, bans
or embargoes. Since they derive their power directly from the company’s Board, such agents are considered untouchable by outside interests.
Most of the Great Houses control small interests in the CHOAM Corporation, with the Emperor and a small handful of powerful Houses retaining the controlling interest. The CHOAM Board of Directors hold the economic fate of the universe in their hands, and Board decisions reverberate throughout the Known Universe, dictating the fates of entire planets. The Great Houses, including the House Imperial, control approximately 60% of CHOAM with an additional 6% held by various Houses Minor, and final 34% controlled by a number of silent partners (including the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood and the Spacing Guild).
CHOAM Directors enjoy enormous power, and seats on the CHOAM board remain one of the most coveted Imperial appointments for any Great House. These seats are allocated according to CHOAM
ownership, and at any time the Board represents a significant portion of the company’s overall House-controlled assets.
With the company’s virtual monopoly over the spice-drug mélange, among other things, its power serves as a significant counterbalance to the tremendous influence exerted by the Spacing Guild and its Guild Bank. The complex relationship between these two Imperial economic powers demands cooperation where there might otherwise exist only conflict.