A market structure characterized by a single seller, selling a unique product in the market. In a monopoly market, the seller faces no competition, as he is the sole seller of goods with no close substitute.
Description: In a monopoly market, factors like government license, ownership of resources, copyright and patent and high starting cost make an entity a single seller of goods. All these factors restrict the entry of other sellers in the market.
1. One Seller and Large Number of Buyers:
The monopolist’s firm is the only firm; it is an industry. But the number of buyers is assumed to be large.
2. No Close Substitutes:
There shall not be any close substitutes for the product sold by the monopolist. The cross elasticity of demand between the product of the monopolist and others must be negligible or zero.
3. Difficulty of Entry of New Firms:
There are either natural or artificial restrictions on the entry of firms into the industry, even when the firm is making abnormal profits.
4. Monopoly is also an Industry:
Under monopoly there is only one firm which constitutes the industry. Difference between firm and industry comes to an end.
5. Price Maker:
Under monopoly, monopolist has full control over the supply of the commodity. But due to large number of buyers, demand of any one buyer constitutes an infinitely small part of the total demand. Therefore, buyers have to pay the price fixed by the monopolist.
Nature of Demand and Revenue under Monopoly
Under monopoly, it becomes essential to understand the nature of demand curve facing a monopolist. In a monopoly situation, there is no difference between firm and industry. Therefore, under monopoly, firm’s demand curve constitutes the industry’s demand curve. Since the demand curve of the consumer slopes downward from left to right, the monopolist faces a downward sloping demand curve. It means, if the monopolist reduces the price of the product, demand of that product will increase and vice- versa.