An association of individuals formed for the purpose of conducting a particular business; a JOINT VENTURE.
A syndicate is a general term describing any group that is formed to conduct some type of business. For example, a syndicate may be formed by a group of investment bankers who underwrite and distribute new issues of SECURITIES or blocks of outstanding issues. Syndicates can be organized as corporations or partnerships.
Newspaper or press syndicates came into existence after the Civil War. A press syndicate sells the exclusive rights to entertainment features, such as gossip and advice columns, comic strips, and serialized books, to a subscribing newspaper in each territory. These "syndicated" features, which appear simultaneously around the United States, can generate large sums for the creators of the features and for the syndicate that sells them. Similarly, when television programs are syndicated, one station in each television market is allowed to broadcast a popular game show or rebroadcast a popular network series. A syndicated show may be televised at different times depending on the schedule of the local station. In contrast, on network television, a program is televised nationally at one scheduled time.
The term syndicate is also associated with ORGANIZED CRIME. In the 1930s, the term crime syndicate was often used to describe a loose association of racketeers in control of organized crime throughout the United States. For example, the infamous "Murder, Inc." of the 1930s, which was part of a national crime syndicate, was founded to threaten, assault, or murder designated victims for a price. A member of the crime syndicate anywhere in the United States could contract with Murder, Inc., to hire a "hit man" to kill a person.