Browse Definitions :
Definition

oligopoly

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

An oligopoly is a small group of companies that dominate a given market. According to some economists, an oligopoly exists if five or fewer companies control 60 percent or more of their particular market. A market controlled by a single company is a monopoly; one dominated by two major competitors is known as a duopoly.

Oligopolies may happen naturally and, if the companies involved are purely competitive, don’t tend to negatively impact the market for consumers. However, in some cases the dominant companies enter into agreements with each other as a way of controlling the market. Collusion among companies in a given market typically leads to higher prices for consumers. Other effects can include suppression of competition and innovation and degradation of service.

A cartel is an official oligopoly that collaborates to set production levels and prices. OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) is the most commonly seen example of a cartel.

This was last updated in April 2019

Continue Reading About oligopoly

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • Cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

  • data breach

    A data breach is a confirmed incident in which sensitive, confidential or otherwise protected data has been accessed and/or ...

  • zero-day (computer)

    A zero-day vulnerability, also known as a computer zero day, is a flaw in software, hardware or firmware that is unknown to the ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity ...

  • business continuity policy

    Business continuity policy is the set of standards and guidelines an organization enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk ...

SearchStorage

  • business impact analysis (BIA)

    Business impact analysis (BIA) is a systematic process to determine and evaluate the potential effects of an interruption to ...

  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks to ...

  • dedicated cloud

    A dedicated cloud is a single-tenant cloud infrastructure, which essentially acts as an isolated, single-tenant public cloud.

Close