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In 1598, an increasing number of fleets were sent out by competing merchant groups from around the Netherlands.
Some fleets were lost, but most were successful, with some voyages producing high profits.
Demand for spices was relatively inelastic, and therefore each lag in the supply of pepper caused a sharp rise in pepper prices.
In 1580 the Portuguese crown was united in a personal union with the Spanish crown, with which the Dutch Republic was at war.
It was originally established as a chartered company to trade with India and Indianized Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade.
The name ‘Dutch East India Company’ is used to make a distinction with the [British] East India Company (EIC) and other East Indian companies (such as the Danish East India Company, French East India Company, Portuguese East India Company, and the Swedish East India Company).
Other names that have been used include the United East India Company, the United East Indian Company, the United East Indies Company or the Dutch East Indies Company'.
The logo of the VOC consisted of a large capital 'V' with an O on the left and a C on the right leg.
It appeared on various corporate items, such as cannon and coins.