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"CHOAM. The Combine Honnete was much more than House Atreides, much more than Dune, much more than the Priesthood or melange. It was inkvines, whale fur, shigawire, Ixian artifacts and entertainers, trade in people and places, the Hajj, those products which came from the borderline legality of Tleilaxu technology; it was addictive drugs and medical techniques; it was transportation (the Guild) and all of the supercomplex commerce of an empire which encompassed thousands of known planets plus some which fed secretly at the fringes, permitted there for services rendered. When Idaho said CHOAM, he spoke of a constant ferment, intrigue within intrigue, a play of powers where the shift of one duodecimal point in interest payments could change the ownership of an entire planet."
Alia Atreides' comments on CHOAM[src]

Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles (CHOAM) was one of the major galactic organisations in the time of the Corrino Empire and later the Atreides Empire, a gigantic monopoly encompassing all forms of commerce across the Imperium which essentially controlled all economic affairs across the cosmos, although it relied upon the Spacing Guild for transport across space due to the Guild's monopoly on faster-than-light travel. CHOAM touched almost all products the Guild will transport, from art forms to technology and of course melange. Many Houses depended on CHOAM profits, and an enormous proportion of those depended on melange. Most economic ventures were conducted through CHOAM, in which the Imperial House, the Landsraad, and Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild all had a stake.

CHOAM directorships were the real evidence of political power in the Imperium, passing with the shifts of voting strength within the Landsraad as it balanced itself against the Emperor and his supporters. Directorship in the CHOAM was the key to wealth, each noble House dipping from the company's coffers whatever it could under this power.

Choam Contract (Judge of the Change, Spice Miner's Guild Starter Deck, Dune CCG, art by unknown)

CHOAM Contract



CHOAM director


CHOAM delegate

The corporation's management and board of directors were controlled by the Padishah Emperor and the Landsraad (with the Spacing Guild and the Bene Gesserit as silent partners). Because of its control of inter-planetary commerce, CHOAM was the largest single source of wealth in the Old Empire; as such, influence in CHOAM (through partisans within it and control of directorships) was the central goal of political maneuvering, both to receive dividends and also to skim off profits.

The structure of CHOAM was similar to that of a publicly-held corporation. It consisted of shareholders, and, as in a public company, major shareholders were given directorships to lead in the board of directors. In this case, however, all shareholders were nobles from the Landsraad, which consisted of the Minor Houses, the Great Houses and the Imperial House. The Great Houses predictably held the directorships of the company, but the Emperor was able to give out and revoke directorships at whim.


This article is a stub: It may require more information.

Under the God Emperor Leto Atreides II, CHOAM experienced a reduction of influence and power, just as every other organization did under his reign.

During the Scattering and later during the times of Honored Matre invasion of the Old World, did CHOAM see it’s power slowly fade away.

Appearances in the Dune series[]

Behind the scenes[]

  • CHOAM's full name, Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles, comes from multiple ancient Terran languages. It roughly translates as "Honorable Union for the Advancement of Greater Trade."[1]
  • As stated by Frank Herbert, the CHOAM company works in a similar way to OPEC - that is, controlling and exploiting vital products to enrich Great Houses.
  • CHOAM was ranked by Forbes magazine as the largest fictional corporation.[2]


Video essays[]

Analytical videos on the subject of the CHOAM commerce union and their role in the history of the Dune universe. (Beware potential spoilers.)