oligopoly

  

Definition

Market situation between, and much more common than, perfect competition (having many suppliers) and monopoly (having only one supplier). In oligopolistic markets, independent suppliers (few in numbers and not necessarily acting in collusion) can effectively control the supply, and thus the price, thereby creating a seller's market. They offer largely similar products, differentiated mainly by heavy advertising and promotional expenditure, and can anticipate the effect of one another's marketing strategies. Examples include airline, automotive, banking, and petroleum markets. Mirror image of oligopsony.

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