Innovative Online Industries, or IOI (pronounced eye-oh-eye) was a global telecommunications conglomerate and the world's largest Internet service provider. A large portion of IOI's business centered around providing access to the OASIS and on selling goods and services inside it. For this reason, IOI had attempted several hostile takeovers of Gregarious Simulation Systems, all of which had failed. Now they are trying to seize control of GSS by exploiting a loophole in Halliday’s will. The IOI's headquarters is located at 101 IOI Plaza in Columbus, Ohio.
Innovative Online Industries Inc. was likely founded in the 2010s after the OASIS was developed. Initially a startup internet service provider, the company grew by acquiring hundreds of telecommunications companies, making itself into a communications conglomerate and the largest internet service provider.
Recently, IOI had created a new department within the company that they called their "Oology Division." ("Oology" was originally defined as "the science of studying birds' eggs," but in light of Halliday's contest, it had taken on a second meaning: the "science" of searching for Halliday’s Easter egg.) IOI’s Oology Division had but one purpose: to win Halliday’s contest and seize control of his fortune, his company, and the OASIS itself, in order to place a monthly fee on users of the OASIS and introduce advertising.
In the film, Innovative Online Industries is a virtual-reality equipment manufacturing corporation, rather than a communications company. This means that they control people's access to OASIS. In the film's original script, it is implied that IOI was a subsidiary of GSS.
After Nolan Sorrento is arrested, it is unknown if IOI was shut down, having been accused of mass murder, conspiracy, blackmail, illegal tactics, abduction, and even terrorism. It is also unknown if the company's board of directors took any notice to Sorrento's arrest. In the film, it is clear that IOI is kept active, despite Nolan Sorrento (who is in a higher corporate position) getting arrested.
Easter Egg: IOI's name and address, 101, is likely a reference to Room 101 in George Orwell's dystopian classic, 1984. Room 101 is a hidden room within the Ministry of Love (Miniluv in Newspeak) where dissidents against Big Brother were mercilessly tortured into making false confessions.
“You asked me once, what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.“
The original Room 101 was itself a sardonic reference to Orwell's time as a war correspondent working with the BBC. Room 101 was the conference room where he and his colleagues were often forced to sit through hours of boring meetings.