For the board game, see Monopoly (board game)
A monopoly (from the Greek words "Mono," meaning "Singular" and "Poly," meaning "plentiful") is a single firm that effectively has no competitors in its market. The monopoly may then charge consumers a price that exceeds its marginal cost, but only in situations where the monopoly good does not have close substitutes. Monopolies producing goods with close substitutes may be monopolies in their own narrow market, but would not be able to enjoy the market power typically associated with monopolies.
In the United States, as a result of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and subsequent legislation, monopolization is illegal; more specifically,
- While it is not illegal to have a monopoly position in a market, the antitrust laws make it unlawful to maintain or attempt to create a monopoly through tactics that either unreasonably exclude firms from the market or significantly impair their ability to compete.