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Monopoly - Essay Example

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Economists group industries into four distinct market structures (pure competition, pure monopoly, monopolistic competition and oligopoly) to understand how price and output are determined and to assess the efficiency or inefficiency in the many product markets in the economy…
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Download file to see previous pages... It was unthinkable to make diamonds available to the general public. However, supply increased rapidly in 1867 when diamonds were first found in South Africa but until the present day the notion of diamond as a precious and rare commodity remains. Just like the gold miners in California, the diamond miners of South Africa were very attracted by the riches about diamond and tend to rush. But because of the scarcity of resourceful lands and problems with infrastructure and equipment, large scale digging was impossible. This gave the opportunity for businessmen like Cecil Rhodes to rent out pumping equipment and soon realized that he had tapped a vast market potential. By 1880, Rhodes held a large enough share of diamond claims to justify a separate company purely concerned with managing the mines: thus DeBeers Mining Company was created. By 1887, the company was the sole owner of South African diamond mines (Kretschmer, p.1). Ernest Oppenheimer, a German immigrant established himself as a prominent figure in the South African diamond and gold industry in the following three decades. As a diamond expert, he entered the gold business, created the Anglo-American Corp. of South America and owned a dominant share of South Africa’s gold mines. With his greatest ambitions, he finally gained full control and ownership of DeBeers in 1926 and this was the start of De Beers as a monopoly.
There are factors that made it possible for a certain company such as De Beers to be considered as monopoly in the industry. Market structures are determined according to the degree of difficulty of entry and exit in the industry and how their products are differentiated. Monopoly is a market structure characterized by having a single or sole producer of a unique product. This is very true for the De Beers, a Swiss-based company controlled by a South African corporation, as it is the only supplier of diamonds and controls the world’s ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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