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Monopoly




See Also:


Monopoly

A monopoly means a circumstance under which a single organization controls the supply of the market for a commodity or service. When a single organization is the sole purchaser of the commodity or service, it is known as a monopsony. A monopoly’s power in the market allows it to charge excess prices and erect barriers to entry of the market by potential competition.

The Sherman Antitrust Act and other antitrust legislation, while not outlawing the existence of a monopoly, prohibits many actions designed to create monopolies and carefully regulates the behaviors of monopolies. For example, antitrust laws prohibit “predatory pricing,” whereby strong players in the market reduce prices below cost to drive competition out of the market.

Antitrust laws also allow for the breaking up of certain monopolies, such as in the cases of Standard Oil and AT&T. Nevertheless, some industries are subject to natural monopolies and patents allow for limited time government-enforced monopolies in many cases.