A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity (this contrasts with a monopsony which relates to a single entity's control of a market to purchase a good or service, and with oligopoly which consists of a few sellers dominating a market). Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition to produce the good or service, a lack of viable substitute goods, and the possibility of a high monopoly price well above the seller's marginal cost that leads to a high monopoly profit. The verb monopolise or monopolize refers to the process by which a company gains the ability to raise prices or exclude competitors. In economics, a monopoly is a single seller. In law, a monopoly is a business entity that has significant market power, that is, the power to charge overly high prices. Although monopolies may be big businesses, size is not a characteristic of a monopoly. A small business may still have the power to raise prices in a small industry (or market).
Amazon's ambitions to upend the grocery market appear to be getting larger. Just two days after the online retailer said it is testing free grocery pickup that could eventually be rolled out to paying Prime members, Bloomberg reports it is working to convince major brands they'd be better off selling their goods directly to shoppers. That means bypassing brick-and-mortar chains like Wal-Mart, Target and Costco, according to Bloomberg.