t economy is the presence of competition, where a number of key players operate in the same marketing sector, offering the consumers a large variety of choices. Another very important feature of a successful economic structure is a decentralised market, where the government’s role is to regulate the quality and safety of the products offered, and also to monitor the behaviour of the business firms in respect to curbing various malpractices like undue price rise, or the manipulation of prices to gain the maximum profits. Market structure of a country is founded on the number of consumers and sellers that are available there, and the market price is related to the negotiating power of these consumers and the sellers in determining a price for the goods bought. According to the economists, there are four major types of market structures that are seen worldwide. These are: markets which show perfect competition e.g. an auction market, free software market, and the stock exchange; a market that shows monopolistic competition e.g. markets for toothpastes, soaps, shampoos and other similar products; oligopolistic market with few players within the same retail sector e.g., the grocery market in Australia; and the monopoly market e.g., The British East India Company and the De Beers diamond mining firm. In the present scenario, when globalisation has elevated the scope for competitions in the worldwide marketing arena to an unprecedented level, we are seeing more of government regulated oligopolistic markets within the industrialised nations, where only a handful of firms are being given licenses to operate in a particular sector. The Australian grocery market is a good example of an oligopolistic market, where there are only four major players, which consist of Woolworths, Coles, Davids, and Franklins. This study will examine the Australian oligopolistic market, with a focus on how it functions, its implications and the future trends.
Oligopoly, in economics, refers to