controlled a large mercantile Empire in the Midrim
Slaves, slaves, and more slaves. The Jedi led a crusade which smashed Hutt control and freed the slaves. The Hutts are great survivors though and quickly recovered to dominate the intergalactic grey market. 1000 years later, when the Republic declined, they came to be the de-facto rulers of much of The Outer Rim territories and slavery once again became common. Many a Senator was on the payroll of the Hutts, and his promise to stamp this corruption out was one of the main reasons Senator Palpatine was elected President of the Senate.