When and why did corporate portmanteau names like PriceWaterhouseCoopers and HarperCollinsPublishers (their italics) start? My guess is hip branding companies.
HarperCollins doesn’t do that with “Publishing” on their website.
It’s clever marketing collateral. Many of these companies started out as partnerships but due to time, splits, mergers, and aquisitions, they have become more about the name recognition than the original partnerships.
When I started working in tax software, there were the Big Ten accounting firms. Then it was the Big Eight, then the Big Six and now the Big Five accounting firms, but they’re all pretty much still the same companies just combined and mutated. Before the July 1998 merger when they became PricewaterhouseCoopers (lowercase w), it was “Price Waterhouse” (space and capital W) and “Coopers & Lybrand”. Mr. Waterhouse got lowercased and Mr. Lybrand got kicked to the curb.