Oligopoly

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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.

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BREAKING DOWN 'Oligopoly'

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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RELATED FAQS
  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. 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 >>
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    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>

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