The term "monopoly" means the predominance in the market of a single seller or producer of products. Such an economic entity is an entire industry, independently determines both the market price of its goods, and its delivery volumes to customers. Monopolies are the product of the development of capitalist relations. And their very existence is a factor hampering the state's implementation of any economic reforms.
The various types of monopolies in Russia do not give full development to market relations either. And this is a serious task, the solution of which is trying to find the relevant state bodies.
At the end of the 19th century. The centuries-old development of the market has undergone significant changes. And they were associated with a real threat of competition. However, on the way to such a necessary market attribute, a significant obstacle arose which was the various organizational forms of monopolies.
The history of similar economic entities began in ancient times. Various forms of monopolies and their evolution accompanied virtually all stages of the development of market relations. However, their recent history began only in the last third of the 19th century, especially in the period of the crisis of 1873.
A sign of monopolistic education
What is this phenomenon? For example, the forms of industrial monopolies are nothing more than individual enterprises and their associations, as well as economic partnerships that produce significant volumes of certain products. This state of affairs allows organizations to take a dominant position in the consumer market and set high prices, which bring the greatest benefit.
That is why the main feature of the monopoly is its exceptional position. Enterprises belonging to such entities significantly limit the competition that arises in the market of a particular commodity. Of course, the monopoly is desirable for every manufacturer. After all, in this case, a certain economic power will be concentrated in his hands, which will avoid many problems and risks.
The state of the dominant position on the market is classified according to different types. There is such a monopoly, as natural, as well as administrative and economic. Let's consider the first of them.
The emergence of natural monopoly contributes to a number of objective reasons. At the same time, such an education reflects such a situation on the market when one company or, at the most, several, can satisfy the demand for this or that product. At the heart of such a monopoly is the feature of production or uniqueness of customer service. In such cases, competition is simply impossible or extremely undesirable. Such organizations provide power supply, telephone services, etc. In such industries, either one or a limited number of companies operate.
Sometimes this or that organization starts to occupy a dominant position in the market due to certain actions of state bodies. Such a monopoly is administrative. The prerequisite for its emergence is the granting by the state of exclusive rights to perform certain types of activities. And such structures, as a rule, consist of state enterprises, which are subordinated to various associations, ministries and commanders.
The administrative monopoly includes a whole group of economic entities of one industry, acting on the market as a single whole. Similar formations were dominant in the former USSR.
This form of formation is the most common. It appears in connection with the emergence of certain economic causes and is built according to the patterns of economic development.
Thus, economic monopoly can be said in cases where entrepreneurs gain dominant position in the market in two ways:
- Concentration of capital with a constant increase in the scale of the enterprise;
- Centralization of capital with the accession or absorption of bankrupt firms.
Going first or second way, the enterprise reaches such sizes that allow it to dominate the market.
Such education belongs to a special kind. It arises at a high degree of socialization of capitalist production and the development of processes of interpolation of economic life.
What types of monopolies can be attributed to the international type? The first of them is transnational. Such a monopoly is national in its constituent capital and control over it, but at the same time it is international in its field of activity. Such forms of capitalist monopolies as concerns are a vivid confirmation of this. For example:
- Concern "Standard Oil of New Jersey". This is an American oil company, whose enterprises are located in more than forty countries. Moreover, abroad, the concern placed 56% of its assets, making 68% of sales there, receiving 52% of profit.
- Swiss food concern Nestle. The bulk of its production facilities and sales organizations are located in other countries. In Switzerland, however, only a small fraction of the turnover of goods (2-3%).
The international monopolies are also singled out. All concerns and trusts, which can be characterized by this term, have a number of peculiarities.
Their differences, first of all, are that their share capital is internationally dispersed. The main core of employees are people of different nationalities. An example of such an association is:
- Anglo-Dutch concern Unilever, working in the chemical and food industry;
- The Belgian-German "Agfa-Geert" trust, producing photochemical goods.
The number of such monopolistic organizations is small, which is explained by the difficulties of combining capital, different in their national origin - these are differences in legislation, and double taxation, and opposition of state officials, and much more.
Forms of monopolies
There is a certain classification of organizations occupying a dominant position in the market. This list includes a number of basic forms in which monopolistic enterprises can be united. The simplest of them arose in the sphere of circulation. Among them:
- The cartel is a form of monopoly that unites several enterprises operating in the same production area. Participants in such a system have commercial independence, retain ownership of the means and tools, and independently dispose of the product they have released. Participants in the cartel only agree on the size of their share in the total volume of production, on the markets and the prices assigned to the goods.
- The syndicate is a form of monopoly, which is the union of some enterprises that are part of one industry, which retains ownership of the means of production, but there is no commercial independence due to the lack of the right to sell their goods. Sales in this case are realized by the general sales office.
There is also a more complex form of monopoly. Such enterprises cover the direct production sector. One of the main forms of monopolies of this type is the trust. Such an association includes enterprises of either one or several industries at once. Trust participants do not have ownership of either the means of production or the product they produce. There is also no commercial independence. In other words, in trusts there is a union of production, sales, finance and management. The advantage of such an association is that each of its participants has its share of shares proportional to the share of the invested capital. Such a package gives the right to participate in the management of the trust and to receive from it its share of profits.
There is also one more complex form of monopoly - a diversified concern. It combines tens and even hundreds of enterprises related to various industries, trade and transport. Participants in such a monopoly lose their right to own production assets, as well as the product they produce. In addition, all enterprises are subject to financial control carried out by the parent company.
The emergence of monopolies in Russia
Education, consisting of dominant organizations on the market, arose in our country. And for the first time about monopolies in Russia they started talking at the end of the 19th century. These communities developed in a peculiar way, which was marked by direct interference in their affairs of state bodies. The government exercised its influence on the development of organizations in the metallurgy, machine building, transport, sugar and oil industries. That is why the types of monopoly in Russia, as a rule, were limited to the administrative type. However, until the beginning of the 20th century. The role of such organizations in the economy of the country was insignificant.
Russia's transition to imperialism
In the years 1900-1903. The world economic crisis broke out. It became the main impetus that led to the accelerated and massive formation of monopolies in Russia. To determine the ways out of the crisis, industrialists began to gather for branch congresses. And at the same time, the main recipe for solving the problem was worked out. It consisted in the creation of joint trade organizations that sell manufactured goods. Thus, there appeared the lower forms of monopoly in Russia, which are syndicates. These organizations kept prices under control in the market.
Syndicates, as the first forms of monopoly, arose in Russia because of patronizing state duties that protected the domestic market. The emergence of such formations contributed to state orders, when the state arranged contests, giving preference to the company that set the lowest price.
Thus, at the beginning of the 20th century. There were such syndicates as "Sell", "Prodvagon", "Produgol", "Roof".
In parallel with the syndicates, such a form of monopoly as the trust began to be formed. Gradually appeared and the formation of "higher type", that is, concerns. Similar associations were developed in the cotton industry. And entrepreneurs, having accumulated large sums, first seized the banks, and then began to invest their available funds in underdeveloped industries. At that time, they were such industries as automotive, electrical and chemical.
International types of monopoly in Russia operated in the oil industry. They came to our country in the form of trusts that divided the world markets among themselves. In Russia there were just three representatives of such a monopoly. Among them:
- "Royal Dal Shell" - the Anglo-Dutch Trust.
- "Partnership Nobel", the main capital of which belonged to German industrialists.
- "Russian General Oil Corporation", created on the basis of Anglo-French monetary investments.
On the whole, the monopolists brought a clear damage to the national economy of the country. They kept high prices for their products, sometimes limiting the extraction of fuel and energy resources. That is why the Russian government was forced to fight with such a phenomenon as a monopoly. Types and forms of such education tried to limit the various legislative acts. However, everything was in vain, since the majority of government officials, in parallel with public work, occupied high-paid positions in various companies.
Some local monopolies of Russia ceased their activities in connection with the outbreak of the First World War. But in general, during the period of military operations, the number of such formations only increased. Some concerns, as the highest form of monopoly, have become even more powerful. And many of them significantly increased their capital, producing products of military orientation.
After the October Revolution, the nationalization of banks and industry was carried out. As a result of this process, the monopolies in Russia were liquidated. The emergence of such entities began again after the 1990s, when the country began to switch to market relations.
The modern stage
To date, there are no net monopolies in Russia. There are only individual enterprises whose products occupy a significant market share (65 percent or more). The main form of monopoly in Russia is large associations. And they all relate to the type of natural formations. Such monopolies were created by the state itself in pursuing a policy of specialization, deepening and concentration of production. However, economic crises have clearly shown that such structures are extremely volatile.
In addition, in Russia there is also such a kind of monopoly as local. It arises from the unsaturation of the market, when individual enterprises, in addition to their will, begin to occupy a dominant position. This list often includes organizations engaged in the processing of agricultural products, as well as trade, medical and consumer services for the population.
The largest monopolists in Russia are only three:
- RAO UES, which produces electricity and provides services for its delivery to the consumer.
- "Gazprom", transporting gas through pipelines and selling it to the public.
- The Ministry of Railways, which heads the rail transport.
Rostelecom can also be included in the same list. This organization provides international and long-distance communication services. Smaller monopolists, organizing their activities in cities, are Vodokanal, Metro, etc. All of them are able to regulate the price of their goods, limiting the consumer to his offer.
Sometimes monopolists abuse the power in their hands. They set too high prices, covering their unjustified costs. In addition, there is a discriminatory attitude in the Russian economy from the monopolies to their competitors. An example of this is the decision of the administration of the Kirov region, which created a state enterprise, which included previously independently operated pharmacies, a pharmaceutical factory, a pharmacy base and a control and analytical laboratory. Such an association ceased its activities under the decision of the State Antimonopoly Committee.