Importance Of Oligopoly Market

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An oligopoly market is a market form which is dominated by a small number of sellers (oligopolists). Although the industry is dominated by a few firms, it is possible for a number of small firms to operate in the market as well. The firms dominating an oligopolistic market cannot function independently and are inevitably dependent on each other. This mutual interdependence is because a firm operating in the market has to consider the potential actions of the other firms in order to retaliate against the other’s individual action. For example, a reduction in the price of Airtel would cause a domino effect i.e. a fall in the price of all the firms in the telecommunication industry. Such close dependence often leads to uncertainty amongst the…show more content…
However formal or open agreements forming monopoly are illegal in most countries. Hence, agreements reached between the oligopolists are in secret. Collusions are of two major types Price Leadership Under price leadership all firms follow the price set by a single firm. The firm which sets the price is a price leader and the others who follow it are its followers. The follower firms assume the price of the leader even though it means that they have to depart from their price maximization position, as they think it is to their benefit not to compete with the leader and within themselves. This form of collusion although informal is generally legal in most countries. Cartels In cartel type of collusive oligopoly, prices and output policy is together fixed by all the firms. Initially, the word ‘cartel’ was used for the agreement under which all firms in the cartel would subscribe to a common sales agency, which single-handedly undertook all selling operations of the firms who were part of the agreement. However, now a days all formal, informal and tacit agreements reached amongst the firms are referred to as…show more content…
If all firms produce homogeneous product and at identical costs, there will be maximization of joint profits with the market being equally shared by them. However, when member firms have different costs, different quotas are fixed for the firms and therefore their market shares differ. In case of cost differences, the quotas and market shares are decided through bargaining. The past level of sales and the productive capacity of firms are considered during the bargaining process. However, these areas are not very firm criteria as they can be easily manipulated. So, ultimately the quotas fixed for each firm depends on their bargaining prowess and skills. Another basis for quota system and market sharing is geographical division of the market between the cartel firms. Price and style of products are subject to variation in this arrangement. Since there is price variation, it leads to an unstable cartel. It happens because the low cost firms always have a tendency to maximise their profit by reducing the price which ultimately leads to the collapse of the

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