Captive market



Captive markets are markets where the potential
consumer A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, or uses purchased goods, products, or services primarily for personal, social, family, household and similar needs, who is not directly related to entrepreneurial or business activities. ...
s face a severely limited number of competitive suppliers; their only choices are to purchase what is available or to make no purchase at all. The term therefore applies to any market where there is a
monopoly A monopoly (from Greek el, μόνος, mónos, single, alone, label=none and el, πωλεῖν, pōleîn, to sell, label=none), as described by Irving Fisher, is a market with the "absence of competition", creating a situation where a spec ...
oligopoly An oligopoly (from Greek ὀλίγος, ''oligos'' "few" and πωλεῖν, ''polein'' "to sell") is a market structure in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of large sellers or producers. Oligopolies often result fr ...
. Examples of captive-market environments include the food markets in cinemas, airports, and sports arenas, college textbooks, US cable companies, the Kosher food market in the United Kingdom, printer refills, truck stops due to fueling contracts and semi truck regulations, and phone calls and food in jails and prisons. Academic publishers, such as
Elsevier Elsevier () is a Dutch academic publishing company specializing in scientific, technical, and medical content. Its products include journals such as ''The Lancet'', ''Cell'', the ScienceDirect collection of electronic journals, '' Trends'', the ...
, operate captive markets. Professional team sports have often been described as an example of captive markets, with strict self-policing rules amongst supporters making it virtually impossible for fans to switch allegiances, and unwritten conduct rules dictating that official club merchandise should normally be worn to games by a majority of fans, allowing the teams themselves to raise prices as high as they feel like knowing that their supporters have little choice but to keep buying.

See also

* Captive audience * Right to repair


Market (economics) {{econ-stub