Monopolistic Competition is when lots of businesses sell slightly different products. In this structure, product prices should be about the same and there are many businesses and not a dominant monopoly. This kind of structure may provide consumers with more kinds of products. It also ensures that not one business becomes a monopoly (due to the amount of businesses and different kinds of products). However, this kind of structure could also foster creation of brand names (for business to claim the superior product), and advertisment plays a huge role in consumer decisions. This effects the consumer, as they would need to gather and process more information about all the different products in order to make an informed decision.
Oligopoly is a monopoly run by a few businesses. Oligopolies can be characterized by: Maintaining a barrier of entry, the expensive start-up costs, predatory pricing, predatory acquisition. Advantages to oligopoly: highly competitive, they thrive on taking out the competition by mostly lowering prices to uncompetable levels. Research and developement: such big businesses may be able to advance research faster than serveral small businesses in order to compete with other big companies. Disadvantages: Reduces consumer choice, can become trusts, prices might go up instead of down.
Natural: In this kind of monopoly, only one business dominates the market because it is impractical for more than one to exist. In this structure, there are high barriers of entry that prevents others from engaging into the market. Advantage: no needless competition. Disadvantage: controls price, impractical for other business to try to change, needs to be regulated.
Geographic: In this kind of monopoly, one business dominates an area. Other businesses cannot relocate there due to location. Advantage: standardized product. Disadvantage: No competition, one product, one price.
Technological: One business dominates in research and development for a particular technology that is needed in the field. This could come from patents, which restricts the use to only the company or from the price of the technology. Advantage: Competition through trying to develop the latest technology. Disadvantage: Price can be whatever since it is improbable other companies can come up with equivalent technology.
Government: The government or government-approved business is the only one in the market due to legislature. This can be federal, state, or local government monopolies. Advantage: government incentive is not money, which makes it less competitive and less price controlling than other monopolies. Disadvantage: government cannot always be trusted, which might deliberately allow a business to become a monopoly.