An example of an "Almost-monopoly" is Microsoft, who many people say have a monopoly of the Desktop PC Operating System market. This isn't true, as a small percentage of people use Macs or Linux PC's. Hell, you can even use FreeBSD as a desktop system.
2) A family game where people play shoes, irons and cowboy hats masquerading as CEO's vying for economic world domination. Based largely on luck, but skill/know-how can also be used, as is proved by a sad person I know who spent his young life getting good at the game so that, for once, he would be better than others at something. Usually, however, the game degenerates into petty fights and shouting matches.
2) (Simpsons quote):
Lou- Another case of Monopoly related violence, chief.
do those Parker brothers sleep at night?
However, a monopoly cannot last in the long run, unless a barrier to entry exists in the market.
Barriers to entry include:
- control of natural resources or inputs
- economies of scale
- technological superiority
- legal restrictions imposed by governments, including patents and copyrights.
A monopolist maximizes profit by producing a little less than the market equilibrium, driving up the price of the good. This creates a deadweight loss to society, (some mutually beneficial transactions are forgone), which is why a monopoly is discouraged or illegal in many parts of the world.