Check This Out --> Market Structures
Now pay attention because this is important. This stuff decides how you buy and sell things and you gotta be able to tell apart the different types of markets. I'm about to explain who controls what kind of markets and how.
Let's say you want to buy a burrito, but you want specifically a Dorrito's Locos Taco like some sort of weirdo. Right now, Taco Bell pretty much owns that area of food, but there's plenty of other different style tacos which for some reason you aren't buying. Whatever. This is an example of monopolistic competition since a bunch of companies are trying to get you to buy their specific version of a product. The advantage of monopolistic competition is that people will usually buy what they want and companies won't be drowned out because they have a unique spin on their product. The disadvantage is that one company won't be able to put the same spin on a product as another company.
Yeah just pretend you can pronounce that right for now. An Oligolyopoioly is basically when only a few companies hold power in a market and control the prices for those goods. Probably one of the best examples of this right now is the Smart Phone. You can get an iPhone, Android, or something far less popular that just does not hold up in the market. Advantages of an Oligopoly is that often the companies are rivals and try to appeal towards a wide audience. Disadvantages occur if the Oligopoly turns into a trust where the companies work together to set prices.
For the sake of a metaphor pretend we are actually talking about the game for a second. This is when that one kid you are 99% sure is cheating holds the entire market for the hotels you are trying to own. You know the one. Forget that kid. Anyways, when a entire market is controlled by one company it's called a monopoly. These can happen for various reasons.
Sticking with the Monopoly game example, let's pretend everyone started up the game. That one kid from the previous example dishes out money like normal, but when you land on your first space to buy it, it turns out that chump already owns it. He owns all the spaces and you can't buy anything except play until you lose. He claims he's the Mayor of Monopoly Town or whatever but you're still upset. This is like a government monopoly where the markets sole distributor is backed by the government. These are usually seen in communist countries where the market is run by a government but can be seen elsewhere like the Post Office in the US. The advantage of having a government monopoly is that things are standardized and if you're lucky, you can have cost protection The disadvantage is that there is low competition and if your government is corrupt then you can spend far too much on too little.
Dropping the game metaphor, can we talk about Spongebob for a second? I'm pretty sure the Krusty Krab is a Geographic Monopoly. I don't think I've seen anywhere else that sells burgers in the ocean unless you count the Chum Bucket. Let's face it, nobody is going to eat there. The area around the Krusty Krab looks barren for miles around, and because it's the only actual food source available, it holds a Geographic Monopoly. You see these kinds of things when you are visiting a small town and there's one store for miles. The benefit of a geographic monopoly is that you have someone selling goods in a single area. The disadvantage is that you only have one person selling goods, so they set the rules.
Natural Monopolies occur when one company just takes control of the whole market because it's too expensive to compete. Theoretically you can try to compete but it would be super hard to make any sort of profit. The main example for this one is electricity or water because you can't just start distributing electricity or water to houses like power lines and pipes do. The benefit of a natural monopoly is that you can standardized products and often the one company delivering the goods is really good at their job. The disadvantage is that you have only one company to go to.
This is when one company has a technological advantage that nobody else has. Often these can come in patents where I own a system and no one else creates something similar or even has the capability to do so. These are usually pioneers in their field like space travel or the first camera. The advantages to technological monopolies is that they will often push others to become technologically superior as well, creating a sort of competition that other monopolies do not provide. The disadvantage is that patents can be annoying and stunt progress.