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Monopoly
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  • A monopoly and πωλεῖν pōleîn ) exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity

Monopoly facts


  • Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition to produce the good or service, a lack of viable substitute goods, and the possibility of a high monopoly price well above the firm's marginal cost that leads to a high monopoly profit
  • The verb monopolise or monopolize refers to the process by which a company gains the ability to raise prices or exclude competitors
  • In economics, a monopoly is a single seller
  • In law, a monopoly is a business entity that has significant market power, that is, the power to charge overly high prices
  • Although monopolies may be big businesses, size is not a characteristic of a monopoly
  • A small business may still have the power to raise prices in a small industry (or market)
  • A monopoly is distinguished from a monopsony, in which there is only one buyer of a product or service; a monopoly may also have monopsony control of a sector of a market
  • Likewise, a monopoly should be distinguished from a cartel (a form of oligopoly), in which several providers act together to coordinate services, prices or sale of goods
  • Monopolies, monopsonies and oligopolies are all situations such that one or a few of the entities have market power and therefore interact with their customers (monopoly), suppliers (monopsony) and the other companies (oligopoly) in ways that leave market interactions distorted
  • Monopolies can be established by a government, form naturally, or form by integration

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