The Phoebus cartel was an oligopoly that controlled the manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs. They appropriated market territories and lowered the useful life of such bulbs. Corporations based in Europe and the United States founded the cartel on January 15, 1925 in Geneva. Phoebus based itself in Switzerland. The corporation named itself Phœbus S.A. Compagnie Industrielle pour le Développement de l'Éclairage (French for "Phoebus plc Industrial Company for the Development of Lighting"). They had intended the cartel to last for thirty years (1925 to 1955). The cartel ceased operations in 1939 owing to the outbreak of World War II. The cartel included manufacturers Osram, General Electric, Associated Electrical Industries, and Philips, among others.
Osram, Philips, Tungsram, Associated Electrical Industries, ELIN [de] , Compagnie des Lampes, International General Electric, and the GE Overseas Group created and joined the Phoebus cartel, holding shares in the Swiss corporation proportional to their lamp sales.