AskDefine | Define consortium

Dictionary Definition

consortium n : an association of companies for some definite purpose [syn: pool, syndicate] [also: consortia (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An association or combination of businesses, financial institutions, or investors, for the purpose of engaging in a joint venture
  2. A similar arrangement among non-commercial institutions or organizations
  3. An association or society
  4. The right of a spouse to all the normal relationships with his or her mate

Extensive Definition

A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments (or any combination of these entities) with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal.
Consortium is a Latin word, meaning 'partnership, association or society' and derives from consors 'partner', itself from con- 'together' and sors 'fate', meaning owner of means or comrade.


Each participant retains its separate legal status and the consortium's control over each participant is generally limited to activities involving the joint endeavor, particularly the division of profits. A consortium is formed by contract, which delineates the rights and obligations of each member. Consortia are more common in the nonprofit sector. A more permanent joint activity is usually called an institute.


For example, Five Colleges, Inc. is one of the oldest and most successful consortia in the United States. The participants in Five Colleges, Inc. are: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Another example of a successful consortium is the Five Colleges of Ohio of Ohio: Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Kenyon College, College of Wooster and Denison University. These consortia have pooled the resources of their member colleges and the university to share human and material assets as well as to link academic and administrative resources.
An example of a for-profit consortium was Airbus Industrie ("Airbus"). Formed in 1970, Airbus is one of the world's premier manufacturers of civilian airliners. Airbus is now owned by EADS. EADS itself is a merger of Aérospatiale-Matra of France, Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace of Germany, and Construcciones Aeronáuticas of Spain, which were originally separate partners in the consortium, owning 37.9%, 37.9%, and 4.2%, respectively. BAE Systems owned the remaining 20% but sold this in 2006. Airbus' status as a consortium means that profits accrue to the partner companies representative to their interests. Work is allocated on the same basis as profits.
Another example of a for-profit consortium is when a group of banks collaborate to give a loan. This is more commonly known as a syndicated loan. In England it is common for a consortium to buy out financially struggling football clubs in order to keep them out of liquidation.

Famous consortia

Sources and external links

consortium in Bulgarian: Консорциум
consortium in Danish: Konsortium
consortium in German: Konsortium
consortium in Spanish: Consorcio
consortium in French: Consortium
consortium in Korean: 컨소시엄
consortium in Indonesian: Konsorsium
consortium in Lithuanian: Konsorciumas
consortium in Dutch: Consortium
consortium in Japanese: コンソーシアム
consortium in Norwegian: Konsortium
consortium in Polish: Konsorcjum
consortium in Portuguese: Consórcio
consortium in Russian: Консорциум
consortium in Slovak: Konzorcium
consortium in Slovenian: Konzorcij
consortium in Finnish: Konsortio
consortium in Swedish: Konsortium
consortium in Vietnamese: Côngxoocxiom
consortium in Turkish: Şirketler birliği

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Aktiengesellschaft, accord, agreement, aktiebolag, arrangement, bargain, binding agreement, body corporate, bond, business, business establishment, cartel, chamber of commerce, club, collective agreement, combine, commercial enterprise, compact, compagnie, company, concern, conglomerate, conglomerate corporation, congress, consolidating company, contract, convention, copartnership, cordial understanding, corporate body, corporation, covenant, covenant of salt, deal, dicker, diversified corporation, employment contract, entente, entente cordiale, enterprise, fellowship, firm, formal agreement, fraternity, guild, holding company, house, industry, ironclad agreement, joint-stock association, joint-stock company, league, legal agreement, legal contract, mutual agreement, mutual understanding, operating company, order, pact, paction, partnership, plunderbund, pool, promise, protocol, public utility, society, stipulation, stock company, syndicate, trade association, transaction, trust, understanding, union, union contract, utility, valid contract, wage contract
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