Business & Financial Markets
Fundamentals of Business
The characteristics of a monopolistically competitive market are almost the same as in perfect competition, with the exception of heterogeneous products, and that monopolistic competition involves a great deal of non-price competition (based on subtle product differentiation). A firm making profits in the short run will break even in the long run because demand will decrease, average total cost will increase. This means in the long run, a monopolistically competitive firm will make zero economic profit.
This gives the company a certain amount of influence over the market; it can raise its prices without losing all the customers, owing to brand loyalty. This means that an individual firm's demand curve is downward sloping, in contrast to perfect competition, which has a perfectly elastic demand schedule.
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 airline, automotive, banking, and petroleum markets.
Market situation where one producer (or a group of producers acting in concert) controls supply of a good or service, and where the entry of new producers is prevented or highly restricted. Monopolist firms (in their attempt to maximize profits) keep the price high and restrict the output, and show little or no responsiveness to the needs of their customers.
Most governments therefore try to control monopolies by
(1) imposing price controls,
(2) taking over their ownership (called 'nationalization'), or
(3) by breaking them up into two or more competing firms.
Sometimes governments facilitate the creation of monopolies for reasons of national security, to realize economies of scale for competing internationally, or where two or more producers would be wasteful or pointless (as in the case of utilities). Although monopolies exist in varying degrees (due to copyrights, patents, access to materials, exclusive technologies, or unfair trade practices) almost no firm has a complete monopoly in the era of globalisation.
Natural monopoly monopoly, a monopoly in which economies of scale cause efficiency to increase continuously with the size of the firm. The imperfectly competitive structure is quite identical to the realistic market conditions where some monopolistic competitors, monopolists, oligopolists, and duopolists exist and dominate the market conditions. These somewhat abstract concerns tend to determine some but not all details of a specific concrete market system where buyers and sellers actually meet and commit to trade.
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