Company or enterprise operating in several countries, usually defined as one that has 25% or more of its output capacity located outside its country of origin. The world's four largest multinationals in 2000, were Exxon Mobil, Wal-Mart Stores, General Motors, and Ford Motor their joint revenues were more than the combined gross national product of all African countries. 22 multinationals made more than $6 billion profit in 2000, and Exxon Mobil made $17.7 billion profit, a 124% increase over the previous year. The value of mergers and acquisitions in 2000 was estimated at $3.2 trillion, the most notable being Pfizer with Warner-Lambert in a $116 billion deal, and Glaxo Wellcome's purchase of SmithKline Beecham for $76 billion (to create GlaxoSmithKline). Multinationals are seen in some quarters as posing a threat to individual national sovereignty, and as using undue influence to secure favourable operating conditions. In 1992, it was estimated that the world's 500 largest companies controlled at least 70% of world trade, 80% of foreign investment, and 30% of global GDP. The 100 largest had assets of $3,400 billion, of which 40% were located outside their home countries. Unsuccessful efforts were made in 1992, through the UN, to negotiate a voluntary code of conduct for multinationals, but governments and corporations alike were hostile to the idea. In June 2000, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued guidelines for multinational enterprises. The guidelines, drawn up with the aid of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and trade unions, aimed to promote better relationships between multinational companies and the societies within which they worked; similar guidelines introduced in 1976 had proved ineffective. The OECD also called on multinationals to respect human rights and work to eliminate child labour. In Europe, Daimler-Chrysler (Germany), Royal Dutch-Shell (NetherlandsUK), and BP (UK) were the top performing companies. In May 2001, BP reported profits of £2.86 billion in the first quarter of the year, a sum estimated to be enough to give almost 50p to everyone in the world.
 Market Withdrawal
Because of their size, multinationals can have a significant impact on government policy, primarily through the threat of market withdrawal. For example, in an effort to reduce health care costs, some countries have tried to force pharmaceutical companies to license their patented drugs to local competitors for a very low fee, thereby artificially lowering the price. When faced with that threat, multinational pharmaceutical firms have simply withdrawn from the market, which often leads to limited availability of advanced drugs. In these cases, governments have been forced to back down from their efforts. Similar corporate and government confrontations have occurred when governments tried to force companies to make their intellectual property public in an effort to gain technology for local entrepreneurs. When companies are faced with the option of losing a core competitive technological advantage and withdrawing from a national market, they may choose the latter. This withdrawal often causes governments to change policy. Countries that have been most successful in this type of confrontation with multinational corporations are large countries such as India and Brazil, which have viable indigenous market competitors.
A multinational corporation (or transnational corporation) (MNC/TNC) is a corporation or enterprise that manages production establishments or delivers services in at least two countries. Very large multinationals have budgets that exceed those of many countries. Multinational corporations can have a powerful influence in international relations and local economies. Multinational corporations play an important role in globalization; some argue that a new form of MNC is evolving in response to globalization: the 'globally integrated...