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monopsony (muh-NOP-suh-nee) noun

A market condition where there is only one buyer for a product or service that's being sold by many.

[From Greek mono- (one) + opsonia (purchase of provisions).]

Here's a little chart that explains this week's jumble:

monopsony : one buyer, many sellers
duopsony : two buyers, many sellers
oligopsony : a few buyers, many sellers

monopoly : one seller, many buyers
duopoly : two sellers, many buyers
oligopoly : a few sellers, many buyers

"Thirty years ago many African countries had active `anti-agricultural' policies, taxing farm exports to finance poorly performing industrial firms, and allowing state monopsonies to gouge producers." Agriculture and Technology: Biting the Silver Bullet, The Economist (London), Mar 25, 2000.

"One new technology soon to be reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission is the business-to-business exchange, a single online shopping site formed by a group of major buyers. The Big Three automakers and the major defense companies, for example, have created their own sites, through which they buy parts from smaller companies. Klein said these sites would violate antitrust rules if the buyers improperly shared information, or if they effectively created a single buyer - a monopsony - and drove prices so low that innovation by the smaller companies would suffer."
Neil Munro; White House: Omens From the Microsoft Case; National Journal (Washington, DC); May 27, 2000.

This week's theme: words related to buying and selling.


I have never been contained except I made the prison. -Mary Evans, actress (1888-1976)

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