Looking at my topic of multinational companies I had a glance at The TImes Online which someone has spent a lifetime putting together.
I am looking at the East India Company in India (who would have thought) as they were probably the closest entity to a multinational corporation in the historical past. They had power beyond the wildest dreams of any CEO today however as up until 1784 the Board of Directors (Control) governed 250 million people and a handful of military divisions. As is likely to happen when a country is run for profit only and wiht no regulation the India populous didn't get a great deal out of this situation. (Except modernity perhaps but that's a little contraversial for this article).
The Times article of 1811 challenges the role of the EIC but makes references to its past domination of the sub-continent.
'The period between 1763 and 1784 when the Company was exclusively sovereign…was fraught with the most grevious abuses'
The author also points out that in areas outside of Company control 'the arts of peace and the progress of agriculture now flourish', and that 'the limits' of the Indian governance are clear.
So this perhaps highlights why it would never be a good idea to give multinational company's to much power and the need for regulation. The question is, with proper regulation and a slightly more humanitarian British Empire could the company have helped build a modern India, buying from locals at good prices, and employing locals on good wages?