Bilateral Monopoly


DEFINITION of 'Bilateral Monopoly'

A market that has only one supplier and one buyer. The one supplier will tend to act as a monopoly power, and look to charge high prices to the one buyer. The lone buyer will look towards paying a price that is as low as possible. Since both parties have conflicting goals, the two sides must negotiate based on the relative bargaining power of each, with a final price settling in between the two sides's points of maximum profit.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bilateral Monopoly'

Bilateral monopoly systems have most commonly been used by economists to describe the labor markets of industrialized nations in the 1800s and the early 20th century. Large companies would essentially monopolize all the jobs in a single town and use their power to drive wages to lower levels. Workers, to increase their bargaining power, formed labor unions with the ability to strike, and became an equal force at the bargaining table with regard to wages paid.

As capitalism continued to thrive in the U.S. and elsewhere, more companies were competing for the labor force, and the power of a single company to dictate wages decreased substantially. As such, the percentage of workers that are members of a union has fallen, while most new industries have formed without the need for collective bargaining groups among workers.

  1. Perfect Competition

    A market structure in which the following five criteria are met: ...
  2. Price Maker

    A monopoly or a firm within monopolistic competition that has ...
  3. Monopoly

    A situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly ...
  4. Legal Monopoly

    A company that is operating as a monopoly under a government ...
  5. Monopsony

    A market similar to a monopoly except that a large buyer not ...
  6. Put-Call Parity

    A principle that defines the relationship between the price of ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    What You Need To Know About The Employment Report

    This widely watched indicator of economic well-being directly influences the market.
  2. Economics

    An Exploration Of The Development Of Financial Markets

    We take a look at how the market was born and has continued to develop throughout history.
  3. Personal Finance

    Antitrust Defined

    Check out the history and reasons behind antitrust laws, as well as the arguments over them.
  4. Investing Basics

    What Does In Specie Mean?

    In specie describes the distribution of an asset in its physical form instead of cash.
  5. Economics

    Calculating Cross Elasticity of Demand

    Cross elasticity of demand measures the quantity demanded of one good in response to a change in price of another.
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Colombia's GDP

    With a backdrop of armed rebels and drug cartels, the journey for the Colombian economy has been anything but easy.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Chile's GDP

    Chile has become one of the great economic success stories of Latin America.
  8. Investing

    Watch Your Duration When Rates Rise

    While recent market volatility is leading investors to look for the nearest exit, here are some suggestions for bond exposure in attractive sectors.
  9. Economics

    Explaining Fair Market Value

    Fair market value is the price at which a buyer and seller are willing to exchange a good.
  10. Economics

    Explaining Capital Flows

    The movement of money for investing, trade or business production, is commonly referred to as capital flows.
  1. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between JIT (just in time) and CMI (customer managed inventory)?

    Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management focuses solely on the need to replenish inventory only when it is required, reducing ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are some examples of Apple and Google's best-selling product lines?

    There are many good examples of product lines in the technology sector from some of the largest companies in the world, such ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is a negative write-off?

    A negative write-off is a write-off conducted by a company or accountant after deciding not to pay back an individual or ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does the landscape of the telecommunications sector in the U.S. compare to Canada?

    From a global perspective, there are more similarities than differences between the telecommunications sectors in the United ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  2. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  3. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  4. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  5. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  6. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!