We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Monopolist?

Patrick Wensink
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A monopolist is an individual who aims to eliminate competition for a product or service in order to attain full market control. This person uses a variety of tactics, such as buyouts, mergers and government-sponsored monopolies, to increase the strength of his business. Many countries oppose the formation of monopolies and have a variety of antitrust laws in place to combat monopolistic practices.

A monopoly is categorized as an unfair competitive advantage in a market, normally by owning a majority of the market share or a having complete dominance of outlets. The benefit for a monopolist is that his business or service has no competition and, thus, he will have security and can set his prices at any level. Historic records show that monopolies have existed for centuries.

The monopolist has many tactics at his disposal to create a monopoly and to dominate the competition in his market. A corporate buyout is one of the most common types of maneuvers, because it involves a larger company using its capital to purchase smaller companies and absorb that organization's client base. Mergers are a similar tactic that is mutually beneficial to two companies because both competing organizations join together into one group and share each other's client base, thus creating less competition. Many governments provide monopolistic options for companies as well. Government-sponsored patents and copyrights provide exclusive rights to sell a particular product for a limited time, eliminating any competition.

One of the most famous examples of a monopolist in action was John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil. At one time the oil giant, owned 88 percent of all oil sales in the United States. The government declared this unfair competition and created a series of antitrust laws in 1911 that effectively ended Standard Oil's control. The result broke the company into several smaller, competing companies.

This is not the only such case, and anti-monopolist laws have been created around the world. Two of the most famous include the United States' Antitrust Law and the European Community's Competition Law. Both see competition as essential to healthy growth in an open market economy. These laws, like the ones brought about in response to Standard Oil's reign, limit a company's ability to buy out competition and to unfairly set prices. Many economists are split on the fairness of these laws, some claiming that they help bolster competition and opponents saying that it is unnatural to limit monopolies because a free market should support the strongest company, not hinder it.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Patrick Wensink
By Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various genres and platforms. His work has been featured in major publications, including attention from The New Yorker. With a background in communication management, Wensink brings a unique perspective to his writing, crafting compelling narratives that resonate with audiences.
Discussion Comments
By Bertie68 — On Aug 09, 2011

I like the way the government has set up patents on new medications, so that there is a limited time period that drug companies can have a monopoly on their new drugs. The drug companies spend a lot of money and time developing and testing new drugs, and they do deserve to make some money.

They do charge a lot of money for these new drugs. But regulations say that after X number of years with no competition for a particular drug, the generic drugs can now be sold and at a very competitive price.

To me, this is a very fair way to give the drug companies a way to make money, and later, a much lower price through generic drugs for those who can't pay a high drug cost forever.

By BabaB — On Aug 08, 2011

I believe in a free market system, with competition, but any attempt to be a monopolist should be regulated by the government of any country.

If a corporation or individual tries to use money and power to gain a monopoly over certain products or services, it isn't right to make consumers pay high prices. It just isn't ethical or for the greater good of a country.

Of course, any corporation should be able to merge with or take over a smaller company, especially if they both benefit. But to go around collecting the full market share should not be allowed. Attempts to build a monopoly have happened a number of times - with phone companies, oil, computers and others. Thankfully, they have been broken up. Amen!

By Oceana — On Aug 08, 2011

It could be said that one of my local newspapers has become a monopolist in the area. They recently bought out three smaller newspapers in the surrounding counties, so their only competition is several counties away.

I think that the smaller newspapers did benefit from the buyout, though. They had been struggling because advertising sales were down just before the merger, as well as subscription sales.

The big newspaper company offers special deals to subscribers so that they can get the smaller papers at a discount if they subscribe to the big one as well. People can also advertise in all four papers for a low rate.

Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.