AN OLIGOPOLY IS A MARKET dominated by a small number of participants who are able to collectively exert control over supply and market prices. Usually if four or fewer firms control at least 50 percent of a given market in one product or service (for example, light bulbs, canned soup, razor blades, temporary workers) an oligopoly is said to exist.

Oligopolies are related to white-collar crime and deviance largely by attempts to limit competition or expand their markets. Oligopolies have developed a number of practices which serve to limit entry into the industry by new firms, to avoid price competition, and manipulate demand.

It is very costly to enter an industry dominated by a few well-known names. Large firms often purchase the successful smaller firms via mergers ...

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