Definitive, standard registers of public open data (addresses, companies, etc) are maintained by the relevant authorities so that commercial and public services can be built on top of them.
United Kingdom: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office country register contains an authoritative list of country names.
Estonia: The eBusiness register contains information about business registered in Estonia.
Countries have already sold control of datasets to private organisations, for example, the Land Registry in Australia.
Competing registers could contain inconsistent data.
Canonical data is difficult to agree or contentious once established.