According to the Pendragon wiki:
Blok began as a small retail store in the city of Rune, seven generations before Bobby Pendragon was born. Its business strategy was to sell its inventory at such low prices that it would quickly outsell its competition. At first the store did poorly, but eventually people began to turn away from other retail stores in favor of Blok's low prices. The store began to raise its prices slightly, though it always kept its prices far lower than any of its competitors. People couldn't resist the low prices, and business was booming.
As Blok grew, it began to move into other industries, starting with manufacturing and design. Blok created its products as quickly and cheaply as possible so as to ensure that it could make a profit and still sell its merchandise at low prices. Later, the corporation began to build schools and hospitals, moving on to more business sectors as it dominated the ones it already worked in.
Before long, Blok faced the challenge of making sure that nobody noticed their rapid takeover of the territory. Their answer was to keep people uninspired and uneducated. Blok schools no longer taught the history of Quillan, and records of past events were gradually erased. Blok even created a monopoly on art, making all sculptures and paintings mass-produced and uninteresting so as not to challenge the minds of their customers.
Gradually, as Blok became the most powerful employer on Quillan, the company began to change its policies. Blok started to mark up its prices and cut its wages and employee benefits. People couldn't do anything about this, because a position with Blok had become the only secure job left on the territory.
Once Blok had established a total monopoly of all economic activity in its country, it began to expand all over Quillan, offering employment in other countries, and spreading its influence far and wide. Before long, Blok was the sole business on Quillan, and controlled all the money and power on the territory.
Cool, right? After I first read this book, I wondered about whether this could actually work in a modern society. Obviously, we have anti-monopoly laws for exactly this reason. For the sake of this hypothetical situation, imagine that there are no anti-monopoly laws, and that this company would originate in a poor, African country, like Somalia or Djibouti. Could this company subtly take over a poor sovereign state over the course of maybe 250 years? Would people notice?