Oligopoly Watch

the latest manoeuvres of the new oligopolies and what they mean

Oligopolies have been around as long as commerce has. The term denotes a situation where there are few sellers for a product or service. The members of an oligopoly change the nature of a free market.  While they can’t dictate price and availability like a monopoly can, they often turn into friendly competitors, since it is in all the members’ interest to maintain a stable market and profitable prices … (full text Defining the new oligopoly).

Homepage;
Basic principles of oligopolies (with 18 subcategories); Oligopsonies; Oligonomy defined; Competition matrix;
Topic Index;
Company profiles;
About Wal-Mart;
Pseudo-variety (in the beer market);
Contact: Steve Hannaford’s e-mail.

About: This site is an attempt to make sense of the business pages in the newspaper, particularly the stories about mergers and acquisitions. I am developing a theory about how and why big companies keep growing bigger, and some of the dynamics behind their moves. 

Note that my book, Market Domination, is now avilable through Amazon. It deals with some of the same themes as this Web site, but in a more organized format.

Note that this bookAre oligopolies sinister? Very possibly. But I think it’s more useful to see how and why they work than simply rail against globalism and greed. While there are hatefully crooked businessmen (take any set of former Enron or Tyco executives for a start), most oligopolies are based on struggles for survival, not a result of innate evil. Like those proverbial sharks moving forward, businesses either grow or fail, and since most mature markets have limited growth potential, companies often grow by buying other companies. If nothing else, it’s fascinating to see how they do it.

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