What is bilateral oligopoly

What is bilateral oligopoly?


According to wholevehicles, the bilateral oligopoly is a type of market in which few suppliers meet fewer buyers. The bilateral oligopoly is a special form of oligopoly.

In this section we discuss the bilateral oligopoly. You will find out what the bilateral oligopoly is and what characteristics it is shaped by. At the end of the discussion, we will give you an overview of all market forms that the economy knows. To deepen your knowledge, you can answer a few practice questions after the text.

  • English: two-sided oligopoly
  • Synonym: bilateral oligopoly

What should you know about the bilateral oligopoly?

The social market economy in Germany is shaped by the relationship between supply and demand. It is the relationship of these two factors that determines the price in the market. Does an entrepreneur z. B. a unique selling point, he can set the price. He doesn’t have to worry about the competition. In practice, however, the monopoly position rarely occurs. The oligopoly is more common: Here, few suppliers meet many buyers. A special form of oligopoly is the bilateral oligopoly.

Two-sided oligopoly: The different forms of the market

Hallmarks of a bilateral oligopoly

A bilateral oligopoly is characterized by the fact that few suppliers meet few buyers.

Example: bilateral oligopoly

There is a bilateral oligopoly, for example. B. on the market for kerosene. Few manufacturers meet few buyers when it comes to selling the product. These are e.g. B. the airlines.

What types of market does the economy differentiate?

The economy knows different types of market.

The starting points are the following three types of market:

  • monopoly
  • Oligopoly
  • Polypol

The following market forms can be developed from the three basic models:

  • monopoly
  • Limited monopoly
  • Bilateral monopoly
  • Oligopoly
  • Limited oligopoly
  • Bilateral oligopoly
  • Monopsony
  • Polypol
Many providers Few providers One provider
Lots of inquirers Polypol Oligopoly monopoly
Few inquirers Demand oligopoly Bilateral oligopoly Limited monopoly
One inquirer Monopsony Limited monopoly of demand Two-sided monopoly


With a monopoly, an entrepreneur dominates the market because he is the only one who offers the specific product. Because of the unique selling point, he is able to determine the price and the sales volume on his own. He doesn’t need to orientate himself by what the competition is doing because there isn’t any.

Limited monopoly

In the case of a limited monopoly (also known as a limited supply monopoly ) , one monopoly has few buyers. Its unique selling proposition extends to the consumers who are interested in its product.

Bilateral monopoly

In a bilateral monopoly, the roles of the market participants are clearly distributed. A supplier faces a customer.


From an economic point of view, an oligopoly exists when a few suppliers meet a large number of buyers.

Example: oligopoly

Since a few rival companies, in addition to the Deutsche Bundesbahn, have been involved in passenger transport on rails, the group has lost its monopoly position. Few providers meet a large number of buyers.

Limited oligopoly

With a limited oligopoly, the number of buyers has been reduced to one consumer. This meets a few entrepreneurs who offer the product.

Bilateral oligopoly

The bilateral oligopoly is identical to the bilateral oligopoly. Few entrepreneurs can only sell their products to a small number of consumers.


In economic terms, the monopsony is also seen as a limited monopoly of demand. Few companies offer their products to a small number of demanding consumers.


In the Polypol market form, many suppliers meet many customers.

One meets this type of market z. B. in the following markets:

  • Car market
  • Grocery store
  • Clothing and shoes market
  • Market for school supplies and office supplies

What is bilateral oligopoly