Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary


When a business controls so much of the production or sale of a product or service to control the market, including prices and distribution. Business practices and/or acquisitions that tend to create a monopoly may violate various federal statutes that regulate or prohibit business trusts and monopolies or prohibit restraint of trade, such as the Clayton Act. Public utilities such as electric, gas, and water companies may hold a monopoly in a particular geographic area since it is the only practical way to provide the public service; they are regulated by state public utility commissions.