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Who Owns What? Today’s Major Conglomerates and Subsidiaries

In the business world, there are a lot of mergers, partnerships, and companies buying out other companies. It can be hard to keep track of the big sharks and the smaller fish in the pond. Even more, it might seem like some brands are their own entities, when really they are owned by a bigger, farther-reaching corporation.

Before we dive deep into our top 10 list of conglomerates in the United States, it’s important to have your professional ducks in a row when it comes to this jargon.

Conglomerate: (noun) a corporation consisting of a number of companies or divisions in a variety of unrelated industries, usually as a result of a merger or acquisition.

Subsidiary: (noun) a company whose controlling interest is owned by another company

Now that you’re well-versed in the lingo. Let’s take a look at the major power players dominating our economy. These are the ten most influential conglomerates in existence today.

 

PROCTER & GAMBLE

Your house is clean thanks to the magic of Procter & Gamble.

Procter & Gamble CompanyThe company has been building its brand for well over a century, with no plans of slowing down. Go down any aisle at your local grocery or drug store and you’ll find any number of their products including paper towels, hair care lines, and laundry detergent. The multibillion dollar company has operations in over 180 countries and features 80 unique brands that are well-loved by consumers. Their cleaning products our in the kitchen and bathroom cabinet of almost every home around the world.

Notable Procter & Gamble Subsidiaries:

  • Always
  • Bounty
  • Charmin
  • Crest
  • Dawn
  • Downy
  • Febreze
  • Gain
  • Gillette
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Olay
  • Oral-B
  • Pampers
  • Pantene
  • Tide
  • Vicks

 

 

 

 

 

PEPSICO. 

Do you have the munchies? Just turn to PepsiCo to satisfy your cravings.

Pepsi Co. Company This enormous company has a variety of popular beverages and snacks. According to Statista, 7.03 million Americans consumed 8 or more bags of Cheetos in 2017 alone. Still, that’s not even taking into account all of their other popular brands including: Gatorade, Doritos, and Tropicana to name a few. From sports games and concession stands to tailgates and company parties, we are able to stay nice and fed thanks to PepsiCo.’s delicious products.

Notable PepsiCo. Subsidiaries:

  • Pepsi
  • Mountain Dew
  • Frito-Lay
  • Gatorade
  • Tropicana
  • 7 Up
  • Doritos
  • Lipton Teas
  • Brisk
  • Quaker Foods
  • Cheetos
  • Ruffles
  • Aquafina
  • Propel
  • Sobe
  • Starbucks (ready to drink)
  • Tostitos

 

 

 

 

 

MARS, INC.

By and large, chocolate deserves to be its own food group. This is an idea that Mars, Inc would proudly stand behind.

Mars Inc. LogoIn fact, they’ve been satisfying America’s sweet tooth since 1911. Today, the company has hundreds of candies from fruity favorites like Starbursts and Skittles to chocolatey confections like Milky Way and Twix. Not to mention, they also have popular lines of pet foods, chewing gums, and mints. By far one of their most popular candies is M&Ms, which come in a variety of colors, tastes, and can even be customized with personal messages as gifts!

Notable Mars, Inc. Subsidiaries:

  • 3 Musketeers
  • Milky Way
  • M&Ms
  • Snickers
  • Twix
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • IAMS
  • Pedigree
  • Double Mint
  • Altoids
  • Juicy Fruit
  • Skittles
  • Starburst
  • Lifesavers

 

 

 

 

3M

Next time you go into the office supply closet, take a minute to appreciate 3M for keeping you organized.

3M LogoThe company came onto the scene at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, more than 60,000 of 3M’s products are used in homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and other industries. Their products have a far reach in the professional world as they also have a line of projection screens and coolant liquids for electronics.

 

Notable 3M Subsidiaries:

  • Post-it
  • Magic tape
  • Nexcare
  • Scotch
  • Bondo
  • Fluorinert
  • Petrifilm
  • Tegaderm
  • Vikuiti

 

 

 

THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

Founded in 1923, the Walt Disney Company has transcended movies to include a radio network, TV channels, theme parks, and other consumer products.

Walt Disney Company LogoNot to mention, the multimedia group also owns Marvel, a boundary pushing studio that is raking in major box office sales from their superhero films. In fact, Marvel’s The Avengers is among the five highest grossing movies of all time! With The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Panther, Iron Man 3, and Captain America Civil War making it onto the top 20 list. These films alone generate a lot of revenue for the company, but as we know, Disneyland and Disney World are popular tourist attractions that get millions of visitors every year.

Notable Walt Disney Subsidiaries:

  • Marvel
  • ABC Television Group
  • ESPN, Inc.
  • Disneyland

 

  • Disney World
  • Disney Channel
  • Lucas Films

 

COMCAST

After work all you want to do is curl up in front of the TV and most of us turn to Comcast for our entertainment.

Comcast LogoIn fact, the cable company has an estimated 27.7 million customers and is continuing to grow. Not only are they connected in many households, they also have the rights to Universal Studios theme parks in Florida as well as DreamWorks, the company behind hit animated features like Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon.

 

Notable Comcast Subsidiaries:

  • Universal Parks
  • NBC Universal
  • Movies 24
  • NHL TV
  • Hulu
  • DreamWorks

 

 

 

JOHNSON & JOHNSON

If you’ve ever hosted a baby shower, you know how pervasive Johnson & Johnson products are to the event.

Johnson & Johnson LogoOf course, this $360 billion company isn’t only about bundles of joy. They keep us healthy during flu season with their various medications and even cover the worst scrapes and cuts with classic Band-Aids. They must know we’re all big babies at heart! Incredibly, this has been the case for well over a century. Johnson & Johnson opened its doors in New Jersey in 1886.

 

Notable Johnson & Johnson Subsidiaries:

  • Band-Aid
  • Acuvue
  • Aveeno
  • Benadryl
  • Clean & Clear
  • Motrin
  • Neutrogena
  • Neosporin
  • Splenda
  • Sudafed
  • Tylenol

 

 

 

 

TIME WARNER

We simply can’t deny the crazy influence Time Warner has in the television kingdom.

Time Warner LogoHBO’s Game of Thrones alone pulls record numbers, with 16 million people watching last season! While the network may be the star vehicle at Time Warner, they are also behind many other successful channels like Warner Bros. and TBS, which house wonderful programs like Little Big Shots and Conan O’ Brien. Plus, Time Warner creates popular publications like Time Magazine, People, and Entertainment Weekly.

Notable Time Warner Subsidiaries:

  • Entertainment Weekly
  • People
  • Time Magazine
  • HBO
  • Warner Bros.
  • CNN News Group
  • TBS

 

 

 

HASBRO

Children and kids at heart can’t get enough of Hasbro products.

Hasbro LogoFamily game nights are a little more special thanks to essentials like Monopoly, Twister, and Scattergories. Plus, the Easy-Bake Oven and Mr. Potato Head have always been at the top of every wish list! It’s no wonder this company sold well over $5 billion during the holidays last year. You will see Hasbro’s line of toys on the shelves of any popular retailer including: Target, Wal-Mart, and Meijer to name a few. Even more, they are staple items in toy stores across the country!

Notable Hasbro Subsidiaries:

  • Bop It!
  • Candy Land
  • Easy-Bake
  • G.I. Joe
  • Monopoly
  • My Little Pony
  • Potato Head
  • Nerf
  • Play-Doh
  • Playskool
  • Scrabble
  • Yahtzee

 

 

 

 

VIACOM

Whether you love hip hop or country, comedy or cartoons, Viacom is a leading force for your entertainment.

Viacom LogoThe multinational media company is behind many shows enjoyed by adults and children such as: Real World, Behind the Music, SpongeBob Squarepants, The Jim Gaffigan Show, South Park, and Being Mary Jane. They pride themselves on offering diversity in their programs, which collectively have earned hundreds of Emmy Awards.

 

Notable Viacom Subsidiaries:

  • BET
  • CMT
  • Comedy Central
  • MTV
  • Nick @ Nite
  • Nickelodeon
  • Nick Jr.
  • Paramount
  • TV Land
  • Teen Nick
  • VH1

 

 

 

 

For Your Entertainment 

Our entertainment, food, healthcare products, office supplies, and other essentials are in the hands of these mighty conglomerates. From going to the gas station for snacks to heading to the movie theater for a popcorn blockbuster, you encounter these brands almost every day. Take the time to understand the totem pole of corporate power!

References:

Statista (2018). U.S. Population: How Many Bags of Cheetos Have You Eaten in the Last 30 Days? Retrieved May 2, 2018, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/288732/bags-of-cheetos-corn-tortilla-chips-eaten-in-the-us/

Statista (2018). Procter & Gamble’s Net Sales Worldwide from 2012 to 2017 (in billion U.S. dollars). Retrieved May 2, 2018, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/238751/net-sales-of-procter-und-gamble-p-und-g-since-2005/

Brodkin, J. (2016, February 03). Comcast Shrugs Off Years of Cord-Cutting Losses, Adds 89K TV Customers. Retrieved May 2, 2018, from https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/02/comcast-shrugs-off-years-of-cord-cutting-losses-adds-89k-tv-customers/

Celebrity Net Worth (2018). Johnson & Johnson’s Net Worth. Retrieved May 2, 2018, from https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/companies/johnson-johnson-net-worth/

Gartenberg, C. (2017, July 17). 16 Million People Watched Game of Thrones Last Night, Making it the Show’s Most Watched Episode. Retrieved May 2, 2018, from https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/17/15985878/game-of-thrones-premiere-record-number-viewers-live-hbo-streaming

Kell, J. (2017, February 06). Hasbro’s Close Ties to Disney Helps Sales Hit a Record. Retrieved May 2, 2018, from http://fortune.com/2017/02/06/hasbro-disney-holiday-sales/



Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa loves food. A LOT. Particularly pizza and popcorn, but she knows beggars can’t be choosers. When she’s not stuffing her face (which is rare), she loves watching movies, playing volleyball and softball, and engaging in any number of interesting shenanigans. If she had to pick a spirit animal, she’d be an otter because they are playful and love to laugh. Most of the time she’s laughing at herself, whether other people are laughing with or at her is to be determined.

Comments

  1. Jen

    Amy, this is a great run down of who owns what, but I notice you forgot to mention that NBC owns the Sheinhardt Wig company too. Lol 😉

    Nice post Amy!

  2. Mandy Kilinskis

    I had no idea that Proctor & Gamble owned so much. I mean, five laundry detergents? That’s crazy! I was also totally unaware that Mars owned pet food brands.

    And as I said in the office – how is it possible that USA can have these amazing TV shows that get renewed year after year, and yet NBC can’t even hold on to Community? Sigh. NBC, you need to get your act together.

    • JPorretto

      Those damn cable channels just don’t need to attract the same ratings as the networks. If USA had Community, it’d probably be their #1 show! Just like how NBC cut “Southland” only to be picked up by TNT a few years ago and is still on I believe.

    • Amy Swanson

      Nestle also owns Purina pet food. Not sure what the deal with non pet food companies owning them, but I guess it’s cheap to make and easy to get a big return from.

      I completely agree with NBC needing to get their act together. C’mon don’t be like Fox!!

      • Alex Brodsky

        Another thing about many of the cable shows is how much more they’re able to do on such a small budget. A few big names aside (Mad Men, The Walking Dead), most of these cable shows (especially USA) have budgets less than half those of a network program.

  3. JPorretto

    This pretty much blows my mind. So what you’re saying is so many “competitors” (see detergents) are owned by the same conglomerate? So they’re not really blood thirsty and trying to oust each other, rather they’re just like siblings fighting for Mommy and Daddy’s attention? I do not understand this dynamic at all…

    I reiterate, Mind = Blown.

    • Amanda

      LOL Jeff. I was thinking the same thing! It’s crazy to see who owns what! Great post Amy!! =)

      • Amy Swanson

        Thanks guys 🙂 It was a fascinating blog to research, a few brands I knew were owned by these companies but others completely floored me. What’s up with P&G owning all these laundry detergents and then Pringles? Is there a big market of people buying Tide and Pringles together, so they decided to get a piece of the action and buy one of the brands?? That’s one dynamic I don’t understand at all.

  4. Jill Tooley

    Wow, fascinating blog! I knew about some of these (like PepsiCo’s vast selection of companies) but I had no idea how much P&G actually had their hands in until now. I think the most surprising one is Mars — they own all of those candy bar and gum names in addition to Uncle Ben’s AND pet food brands? Crazy! This goes to show that you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket, I suppose.

    Thanks for all the info. This is great stuff! 🙂

    • amy

      Thanks for reading, Jill 🙂 I had no idea how much Mars owned either, I thought they had just the candy corner but guess I was wrong.

  5. Jenna Markowski

    Really interesting post, Amy! I just learned that Procter & Gamble also owns Pepto Bismol…so there’s that. Laundry detergent, toothpaste, and yucky pink medicine. NAILED IT. Maybe Pepto Bismol is made out of an intricate mixture of laundry detergent and toothpaste, and that’s why it tastes so horrible? Probably.

    Another industry that’s interesting to look at is the recording industry. Most record labels that claim to be more “independent” are in fact owned by one of the major record labels like Sony, Warner, or Universal.

    • amy

      The few times I’ve ever consumed Pepto Bismol I would 100% agree with you and its, “intricate mixture of laundry detergent and toothpaste”. That’s pretty much what it tastes like to me too. Yuck!

      I had no idea about the recording industry. I always assumed that if a label was “independent” that meant they weren’t owned by another company. Huh, very interesting indeed.

  6. amy

    Yay! I’m not the only business nerd who finds information on current conglomerates and subsidiaries interesting!! I guess as long as the money is pouring into P&G’s pockets they must not care which brand consumers buy. I agree with you on its level of fascination!

  7. Laird A Salmon

    You could also have mentioned Sony,who own 123 Subsideries and a large slice of Hollywood,including Universal Pictures,MGM,Paramount,,Island records and another dozen ibcluding their latest aquisition E.M.I

  8. matt

    eukanuba was sold by P&G in 2014 and is now owned by Mars, Inc.

  9. Val

    ProctEr & Gamble…..not Or. It’s no wonder they now use P&G only!

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