Pure monopoly happens when one firm is the single supplier of a product for which there are not substitutes. Some of the main characteristics of pure monopoly are:
- Single Seller– A pure monopoly is an industry in which a sole producer is the single supplier of a specific good or service in this market model.
- No Close Substitutes– A pure monopoly’s product is unique and there aren’t any close substitutes for it, so that consumer has to choose to buy or not to buy the product.
- Price-maker– The pure monopolist controls the quantity supplied of good and service, so that it controls the price. This kind of firm or industry is called price-maker, unlike pure competitors which are price-taker, because they can’t control the price, since quantity produce by them is very small relative to total quantity output. The pure monopolist confronts downward-sloping curve. So it can change the product’s price by changing the quantity of good that it produces. The monopolist can use this advantage to maximize its profits.
- Blocked entry– A pure monopolist doesn’t have any competitors because there are some barriers that keep competitors away from entering the industry. These barriers may be technological, economical or some other types, but the fact remains that no other firms may enter in our pure monopoly market.
There are very rare examples of pure monopoly, but there are examples of some less pure forms of it. In many countries many government-owned or government regulated public utilities (gas, water, electricity) may be monopolies. Also, some professional sport teams are thought to be monopolies, because they are suppliers of unique service in large geographic areas. Examples may serve some major football matches like between Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, which serve as representative of large cities in Spain. In some small towns airline service or train-transport may be pure monopolies if they are represented only by one firm in these regions. Also, in some very small areas banks, pharmacies or theaters may be examples of pure monopolies.