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A monopoly exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it – what price is charged, in what quantity, to whom it is available, and so forth. Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods.


  • Ironically, contrary to the consensus of historians, it was not the existence of monopoly which caused the federal government to intervene in the economy, but the lack of it.
    • Gabriel Kolko, The Triumph of Conservative, Chicago: IL, Quadrangle Publishing Co. (1967) pp. 4-5
  • Local economic independence cannot be preserved in the face of consolidations such as we have had during the past few years. The control of American business is steadily being transferred, I am sorry to have to say, from local communities to a few large cities in which central managers decide the policies and the fate of the far-flung enterprises they control. Millions of people depend helplessly on their judgment. Through monopolistic mergers the people are losing power to direct their own economic welfare. When they lose the power to direct their economic welfare, they also lose the means to direct their political future.
    • Estes Kefauver, Senate Hearing, 1947, reported in Michael J. Sandel, Democracy's Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy (1998), p. 243.

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