UL - The Highly Profitable Quasi Nonprofit Investigated
UL has near-monopoly power in the U.S., operating in a highly atypical fashion involving two non-profits and a for-profit business.
UL (formerly known as Underwriters Laboratories) brings in more than $2.5 billion in annual revenue, has paid a former CEO more than $20 million, and is expanding rapidly throughout the world.
Without the prevalent UL mark legally required by various U.S. codes, building inspectors may order materials and components such as fire sprinklers, surveillance equipment, and doors to be ripped out of construction projects. More broadly, global retailers such as Amazon may decline to sell products.
In the report, IPVM takes a deep look into the UL enterprise, including the size and scope of its operations, the evolution of its complex three-entity structure, its market power, the extent to which its substantial cash generation flows to executives, and transparency issues.