Irish Market Structures

788 Words4 Pages
Brief Introduction
This paper is an examination of market structures in Ireland in which I will be examining and evaluating examples of monopolies, oligopolies, perfect competition and imperfect competition. In each of these structures I will be discussing the theory and characteristics of the structures, an example of it and then go into a brief discussion about the example to see if it conforms to the theory.
Monopoly

Theory and Characteristics
The characteristics of the monopoly market structure is that it is a single firm in the industry, with complete control over the market. There is no competition against a monopoly, allowing them to set the price of their products or services as high as they wish. Due to monopolies being the only source
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CRH is the largest company quoted on the Irish Stock Exchange and the only Irish company to appear among the top 160 companies in Europe by income in 2012. CRH plc was formed through a merger in 1970 of two Irish public companies, Cement Limited and Roadstone Limited. After the merge, CRH was the sole producer of cement, concrete products and asphalt in Ireland. CRH had a 100 percent monopoly in the production of cement until recent years when the Quinn factory was set up in Co. Fermanagh. 
CRH came into criticism over the years due to their ruthless policy of pressuring its competitors to the point where they had no option but to sell their business to CRH. Additionally, they were accused of bullying any small competitors of theirs and unfair trading. They were quoted as being like an “octopus within the Irish capitalist economy”. 
It’s said that the Cement Act gave a monopoly to Cement Ltd in the 1930’s which created a private monopoly which had huge power in the cement industry. A major reason as to why CRH became a monopoly in Ireland is that there is a significant barrier to entry when cement is produced in an island country. The cost to ship and deliver cement is quite high but the cost of value to weight is quite low. A few tonne of cement is quite cheap, but to transport it from one country to another is substantial. Due to this, cement prices were kept quite high, resulting in large
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