Often, the main deterrent to a highly competitive market is market power possessed by sellers. In this section, we will consider the strongest form of seller market power, called a monopoly. In a monopoly there is only one seller, called a monopolist.

Recall that in perfect competition, each firm sees the demand curve it faces as a flat line, so it presumes it can sell as much as it wants, up to its production limit, at the prevailing market price. Even though the overall market demand curve decreases with increased sales volume, the single firm in perfect competition has a different perception because it is a small participant in the market and takes prices as given. In the case of flat demand curves, price and marginal revenue are ...

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