The business news section of any newspaper or website is constantly changing. There is always news of “Company A” being bought out by “Company B,” or “Company C” merging with “Company D”…it’s enough to make anyone confused. Who owns what anymore?
To help you clear up some of the madness, I’ve looked at one major “everything” conglomerate, two major companies in the food industry, and three companies in the media industry to try to sort things out. It’s amazing to see that your favorite brand is actually owned by a company that you never would’ve thought. Let’s take a look!
Before researching this blog, I knew I used a few P&G brands at home, but I was amazed once I really looked at their brand’s breadth. I won’t list them all here, but to give you a general idea of all that they produce, here you go:
- Beauty & Grooming: Clariol Professional, CoverGirl makeup, Crest, Gillette, Gucci Fragrances, Natural Instincts, Nice ‘n Easy, Olay, Old Spice, Oral-B, Pantene, Scope, Secret, and Venus.
- Household Care: Bounce dryer sheets, Bounty paper towels, Cascade, Charmin, Cheer laundry detergent, Dawn, Downy, Deft laundry detergent, Duracell batteries, Era laundry detergent, Eukanuba pet food, Febreze, Gain laundry detergent, Iams pet food, Luvs diapers, Pampers diapers, Mr. Clean, Pringles, Puffs facial tissues, Swiffer, and Tide laundry detergent (yes you counted right, they own 5 laundry detergent brands).
We’re not finished yet! Let’s see what companies own your favorite beverages and snacks…
This company grew quickly due to a 1965 merger of the Pepsi-Cola Company and Frito-Lay, which combined the food and beverage companies to be one super power. 19 of PepsiCo’s brands were generating retail sales of more than $1 billion, as of 2009, and the company was distributing to more than 200 countries worldwide. This single company produces:
- Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Ocean Spray juices, Amp Energy drinks, SOBE Lifewater, Aquafina, Propel
- Frito Lay products
- Quaker Oat products
Yep, the candy bar company…or so I thought. This single company had $30 billion in sales in 2010 – that’s a lot of M&Ms! However, they produce much more than just candy:
- Pet Food: Cesar, Pedigree, Whiskas
- Treats: 3 Musketeers, Combos, Dove, Kudos, M&Ms, Milky Way, Snickers, Twix
- Wrigley products: Altoids, Big Red gum, Doublemint gum, Eclipse gum, Lifesavers, Orbit gum, Skittles, Starburst, Winterfresh gum
- Food: Uncle Ben’s brand
Now for the media conglomerates of the world…
Even if you don’t receive the Chicago Tribune every morning, chances are you’ve seen (or heard) some of their other offerings:
- National Cable: WGN America
- Television Stations: too numerous to count (check them out here)
- Radio: WGN-AM Chicago
- Newspapers: The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Red Eye
- Classified Advertising: CareerBuilder.com, Apartments.com, CARS.com, ForSaleByOwner.com
- Entertainment: MetroMix.com
Whether or not you’re a Rupert Murdoch fan, you’ve probably still watched something that he owns. Everything from 20th Century Fox to The Wall Street Journal is under this single company:
- Cable Networks: Big Ten Network, anything with ‘Fox’ in the title, FX, National Geographic Channel
- Film: 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox Television Studios
- Television: Fox Broadcasting Company
- Publishing: Harper Collins, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post
- Other assets: Hulu.com, IGN Entertainment
If you’ve been watching 30 Rock from the first season, then chances are you’ve seen a hilarious tongue-in-cheek run down of this company. From the days when General Electric (yep, GE) was a majority owner to now with Comcast being the majority (Comcast now owns 51% of NBC Universal while GE owns 49%). Which outlets do they actually work in?
- Cable Networks: A&E Television Networks, Bravo Media, CNBC, CNBC World, E!, G4, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen Media, Style Network, Syfy, The Weather Channel Companies, USA Network, VERSUS
- Broadcast: NBC Entertainment, NBC News, Telemundo
- Other assets: DailyCandy.com, Fandango, Hulu.com (a joint venture with Fox), iVillage, Universal Parks & Resorts
- Film: Focus Features, Universal Pictures
I just barely scratched the surface on who owns what. With the constant 24/7 news, I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before another conglomerate is made!
Were there any that surprised you? Is there another company you’re curious to see what brands or services they also own? Sound off below!