Chapter 17

Tendency to Oligopolize

In economic theory, a perfect market is characterized as a market that will reach an equilibrium in which the quantity supplied for every product or service, including labor, equals the quantity demanded at the current price. This equilibrium will be a Pareto optimum,139 meaning that nobody can be made better off by exchange without making someone else worse off. For the maritime industry, this would mean that a huge number of shipping lines could choose between a huge number of ports for serving final customers. The opposite of such a market is a monopoly; a market situation where one producer (or a group of producers acting in concert) controls supply of a good or service, and where the entry of new producers ...

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