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The Independent Commission for Market Equality is an independent regulatory agency that oversees corporations based in independent systems. Any independent corporations that wish to merge must first gain the Commission's permission.

In January 3307, the ICME investigated reports of irregularities in the transfer of ownership of Lakon Spaceways shares during a hostile takeover attempt of that corporation by Federal ship manufacturer Core Dynamics. The investigation concluded the following month, and declared the merger illegal after confirming that former Core Dynamics CEO Jupiter Rochester had coerced Lakon shareholders through bribes and blackmail.

Timeline

10 FEB 3307

  • The acquisition of Lakon Spaceways by Core Dynamics has been revoked following revelations of illegal activity. An inquiry by the Independent Commission for Market Equality stated that former Core Dynamics CEO Jupiter Rochester "exerted unduly influence on Lakon shareholders, including bribery and blackmail". This led to new appointees to the board of directors, who were paid to approve the hostile takeover. The inquiry also factored in the recent Federal High Court trial, which proved that Jupiter Rochester was directly responsible for the destruction of Starship One in 3301. In both cases, he set up shell companies to move enormous funds via unregistered banking systems. Core Dynamics refused to comment on the allegations, but its legal team has terminated the transfer process. The entire corporation is currently in disarray due to several departments becoming an independent faction under the name Jupiter Division. At Lakon Spaceways, Trent Delaney and several other directors have resigned. During an emergency meeting, a majority of stakeholders approved reinstating Naomi Landseer as chairperson. With stock values plummeting and industry confidence low, the future of the company remains uncertain. However, Sirius Corporation confirmed that it has made preliminary offers with regards to acquiring Lakon as a subsidiary.[1]

15 JAN 3307

  • The purchase of shipbuilding company Lakon Spaceways by Core Dynamics is in doubt after allegations of illegal business practices. Irfan Karim reported on the recent developments for The Alliance Tribune: "The Independent Commission for Market Equality has confirmed that several Lakon shareholders sold their stock to shell companies, which were covertly established by departments within Core Dynamics. Furthermore, two serious accusations of blackmail have been referred to Alliance Interpol. Trent Delaney, Lakon's newly installed chairperson, has dismissed these claims. But coupled with serious rumblings from the Council of Admirals over losing a military supplier, this hostile takeover now looks less certain." In the Federation, the newsfeed Sol Today ran an editorial piece on the situation: "Acquiring Lakon is another bold triumph for manufacturing colossus Core Dynamics. It's a shame that it's being undermined by the petty bureaucrats of the Alliance, who should be gratefully grasping this financial lifeline. It's also laughable that CEO Jupiter Rochester, one of our titans of industry, is being stabbed in the back by old-fashioned colleagues who are clearly jealous of his success. Perhaps his 'Jupiter Division' has finally outgrown the corporation and deserves to forge its own path."[2]

13 JAN 3307

  • An anonymous source within the shipbuilding corporation Core Dynamics has revealed details behind its hostile takeover of Lakon Spaceways. The nameless insider had previously stated that the acquisition of Lakon was the personal project of Core Dynamics CEO Jupiter Rochester. These additional claims were broadcast via Vox Galactica: "In the last few years, Rochester has purchased many companies based outside the Federation, such as Vodel. Lakon Spaceways is just the latest. It seems legal, but he manages these subsidiaries directly and installs his own people there. Some say he's diversifying his family's private holdings, rather than expanding the business. It's well known that several departments only follow Rochester's directives, and operate in silos unconnected with the rest of Core Dynamics. Staff refer to them as 'Jupiter Division'. Some offices even started using that name, like they're a separate company within a company. I've heard that some directors are unhappy with Rochester, but he's too well-connected to ever get rid of. It's thanks to him that we have so many military contracts. As always, the rich get away with anything." Core Dynamics declined to comment on this statement. Naomi Landseer, former chairperson of the Lakon Spaceways board of directors, has asked the Independent Commission for Market Equality to investigate further.[3]

05 JAN 3307

  • The shipbuilding company Lakon Spaceways has officially accepted a bid for ownership from Federal corporation Core Dynamics. The proposal from Core Dynamics CEO Jupiter Rochester was ratified following a majority vote by Lakon's board of directors, many of whom were recently appointed following resignations demanded by shareholders. Trent Delaney, the new chairperson, confirmed the merger in a public statement: "We are overjoyed that Lakon Spaceways will join the Core Dynamics family, thereby overturning the mistakes of the previous management and setting us on course for a bright future. The transfer of ownership will take another two months to formalise. In that time, it will be business as usual for the manufacture and sale of our ships." The Federal Commerce Authority has approved the corporate takeover. However, the Independent Commission for Market Equality is still investigating reports of irregularities. The Council of Admirals has expressed concerns that a military supplier for the Alliance Defence Force should be owned by a Federal defence contractor. Admiral Rachel Ziegler informed the Assembly: "Regardless of our cordial relationship with the Federation, security issues will inevitably arise if the Alliance Chieftain and her sister ships are constructed by a foreign power. The ADF is already woefully underfunded, and this places extra strain on our ability to defend our interests."[4]

29 DEC 3306

  • Economic instability has caused the value of shares in Lakon Spaceways to drop to unprecedented lows, placing the company's future in doubt. A hostile takeover bid by Federal corporation Core Dynamics has raised concerns in the Alliance over the loss of a major defence contractor. The Independent Commission for Market Equality has also reported irregularities in the recent transfer of share ownership, which may lead to criminal investigations. As a result, although Lakon Spaceways continues to manufacture and sell ships, its lack of reserves and a loss of confidence among investors may lead to insolvency and dissolution. Trent Delaney, the newly appointed chairperson of Lakon's board of directors, announced: "Financial mismanagement and a litany of poor business decisions have led to this situation. Rest assured that once formal negotiations with our new parent company are complete, Lakon's stock will rise to new heights." According to Federal business analysts, there are indications of displeasure among Core Dynamics senior directors regarding this takeover. An anonymous source from within the corporation told Vox Galactica: "The Lakon merger is entirely Jupiter Rochester's project. Frankly, it's sheer greed. Our income has soared recently with new commissions from the Navy, but Rochester's grabbing hands are always reaching for something. He runs the departments that are loyal to him like they're his personal kingdom."[5]

24 NOV 3306

  • An official bid for complete ownership of Lakon Spaceways has been made by Core Dynamics, a major shipbuilding corporation in the Federation. The announcement caused ripples in the manufacturing sector, particularly as Lakon has been in partnership with the Alliance for several years. The newsfeed Sol Today featured a statement by Jupiter Rochester, the CEO of Core Dynamics: "Lakon Spaceways has made a name for itself with its practical and well-respected ship designs – the workhorses of the galaxy. Core Dynamics can help the company reach greater heights, and be even more successful. This can only be a positive move for both corporations. As with our acquisition of Vodel last year, Lakon will retain its talented engineers and production facilities while operating under our guidance." There has been no response yet from the board of directors at Lakon Spaceways. Some industry specialists have speculated that the company may have financial difficulties, after investing heavily in the Alliance Chieftain and its sister ships. Questions have been raised in the Alliance Assembly about the legality of inter-superpower corporate mergers. However, neither the Federal Commerce Authority nor the Independent Commission for Market Equality have disapproved of the proposal.[6]

References

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