Oligopsony

DEFINITION of 'Oligopsony'

Similar to an oligopoly (few sellers), this is a market in which there are only a few large buyers for a product or service. This allows the buyers to exert a great deal of control over the sellers and can effectively drive down prices.

BREAKING DOWN 'Oligopsony'

A good example of an oligopsony would be the U.S. fast food industry, in which a small number of large buyers (i.e. McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's) controls the U.S. meat market. Such control allows these fast food mega-chains to dictate the price they pay to farmers for meat and to influence animal welfare conditions and labor standards.

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