The Ferengi Alliance was the mercantile government of the Ferengi whose seat of power was on the homeworld of Ferenginar, located in the Alpha Quadrant. The alliance of the Ferengi was dedicated to the promotion of profit and commerce. It was overseen by the Grand Nagus from the Tower of Commerce on Ferenginar. The Nagus' power was derived from both the Ferengi Bill of Opportunities and Rules of Acquisition. The Ferengi Alliance survived into the late 32nd century and sent delegates to the Multilateral DMA Strategy Assembly in 3190.
- See main article: Ferengi history
According to Nog it took ten thousand years to establish the Ferengi Alliance. (DS9: "Little Green Men") Gint was the first Grand Nagus, which functions as the Alliance's head of state. (DS9: "Body Parts")
The capital of the Ferengi Alliance, Ferenginar, was located approximately sixty light years from the Bajoran system, the home of the Bajoran wormhole. (DS9: "The Dogs of War", okudagram) The terminus of this wormhole in the Alpha Quadrant was located in the Orion Arm, some thirty thousand light years from the galactic core. (Star Trek: Voyager, Season 7 production art )
Lappa IV was stated to be a "Ferengi world." (TNG: "Ménage à Troi") Other planets with strong Ferengi business presences included the Hupyrian homeworld and Volchok Prime. (DS9: "Family Business", "The Nagus") Strategically relevant systems close to Ferenginar were Irtok and Clarus. (DS9: "Profit and Lace")
Domestically, advancement in Ferengi government was based on bribery and patronage. A Ferengi who aspired to a higher position in any government agency, in particular the FCA, was expected to earn a large profit not just for himself but for his superiors. Even seeking an audience with a senior government official required a donation (bribe) of latinum. (DS9: "Family Business")
Agencies and institutions
Despite a strong spirit of laissez-faire regarding commerce, the Alliance maintained numerous agencies to regulate Ferengi business and trade. Though ostensibly created to oversee Ferengi business practices and ensure adherence to regulation, these agencies appeared to be constructed as much to create opportunities for graft, bribery and corruption as any legitimate purpose.
The Ferengi Commerce Authority (or FCA) was an agency of the Alliance concerned with business practices and the enforcement of trade under Ferengi Trade By-Laws and Code. Agents of the FCA were known as Liquidators, led by the Board of Liquidators, all of whose offices were located on the 40th floor of the Tower of Commerce in the Sacred Marketplace on Ferenginar. The Tower was the tallest building in the Ferengi Alliance. (DS9: "Family Business", "Prophet Motive")
Generally, the Ferengi Alliance stayed neutral in the politics of the galaxy, since the Ferengi were solely interested in profit and making enemies diminished possible business opportunities. In the spirit of free enterprise, most Ferengi business ventures were made without the knowledge of the government. As a result, while a number of hostile conflicts occurred between the Federation and the Ferengi in the 2360s, the Ferengi Alliance itself was not considered responsible. (TNG: "Bloodlines")
The Ferengi Alliance has never actually fought in any large-scale interstellar war, which Quark considers an accomplishment which makes it morally superior to even the Federation. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar") Generally, when the Ferengi Alliance comes into conflict with another galactic power, they peacefully apply economic pressure using their considerable financial resources (raising or lowering trade restrictions, etc.) until they can force the other power to agree to a peace treaty at the negotiation table, preferably one in the Ferengi Alliance's favor. (DS9: "The Siege of AR-558")
The Ferengi Alliance maintained official neutrality during the Dominion War, though it believed its natural business interests to lie with the Alpha Quadrant powers. Similarly, during the Occupation of Bajor the Ferengi took no sides and traded equally with the Cardassians and Bajorans. (DS9: "Business as Usual")
The official practice of neutrality, however, did not guarantee the Alliance favorable relations with all races. The Klingons were known to despise Ferengi in almost all circumstances, despite no history of bad relations between the two governments. However, even as a neutral power, the economic might of the Ferengi Alliance gave them significant influence in the galaxy.
"Only from a distance. The closer you are to the front lines, the less profitable it gets."
The Ferengi Alliance maintained what was essentially a quasi-military force that consisted mostly of D'Kora-class marauder craft. The military was used to protect the business ventures of various Ferengi entrepreneurs, not to wage war. A Marauder was usually commanded by a DaiMon who was authorized to open new trade negotiations on behalf of the Alliance. (TNG: "The Last Outpost", "The Price")
The Battle of Prexnak, between the Ferengi and Lytasians, was the most important battle in Ferengi history. A similar operation was undertaken in 2374 between the Ferengi and Dominion, the only "encounter" the two powers had during the Dominion War. (DS9: "The Magnificent Ferengi")
Still, the Grand Nagus, was nevertheless kept up-to-date on the war efforts by Starfleet through their intelligence reports. In 2375, he sent Quark on a fact-finding mission to the front lines, specifically the Chin'toka system, aboard the USS Defiant. However, according to Quark, "If the Federation had listened to the Ferengi Alliance there never would have been a war, [...] [as they] would have reached an accommodation. We would have sat across the negotiation table and hammered out a peace treaty. One that both sides could lived with." He later quoted the 125th Rule of Acquisition to justify such reasoning, "You can't make a deal if you're dead." (DS9: "The Siege of AR-558")