DEFINITION of 'Oligopoly'

A situation in which a particular market is controlled by a small group of firms.

An oligopoly is much like a monopoly, in which only one company exerts control over most of a market. In an oligopoly, there are at least two firms controlling the market.


The retail gas market is a good example of an oligopoly because a small number of firms control a large majority of the market.

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  1. What factors influence competition in microeconomics?

    From a microeconomics perspective, competition can be influenced by five basic factors: product features, the number of sellers, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is the airline industry in an oligopoly state?

    The United States airline industry is an oligopoly. An oligopoly exists when a market is controlled by a small group of firms, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the most famous cases of oligopolies?

    As of 2014, two of the most well known oligopolies in the United States are the film and wireless communications industries. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are some current examples of oligopolies?

    Oligopolies are prevalent throughout the world and appear to be increasing ever so rapidly. Unlike a monopoly, where one ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do you make working capital adjustments in transfer pricing?

    Transfer pricing refers to prices that a multinational company or group charges a second party operating in a different tax ... Read Full Answer >>
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