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A Large And Homogenous Market

BREAKING DOWN Perfect Competition

Perfect competition is a benchmark to which real-life market structures can be compared. 

Perfect competition is the opposite of a monopoly, in which only a single firm supplies a good or service and that firm can charge whatever price it wants, since consumers have no alternatives and it is difficult for would-be competitors to enter the marketplace. Under perfect competition, there are many buyers and sellers, and prices reflect supply and demand. Companies earn just enough profit to stay in business and no more. If they were to earn excess profits, other companies would enter the market and drive profits down.

Perfect Competition is characterized by the following attributes: 

A Large And Homogenous Market 

There are a large number of buyers and sellers in a perfectly competitive market. The sellers are small firms, instead of large corporations capable of controlling prices through supply adjustments. They sell products with minimal differences in capabilities, features, and pricing. This ensures that buyers cannot distinguish between products based on physical attributes, such as size or color, or intangible values, such as branding. A large population of both buyers and sellers ensures that supply and demand remain constant in this market. As such, buyers can easily substitute products made by one firm for another. 

Perfect Information Availability  

Information about the ecosystem and competition in an industry constitutes a significant advantage. For example, knowledge about component sourcing and supplier pricing can make or break the market for certain companies. In certain knowledge- and research-intensive industries, such as pharmaceuticals and technology, information about patents and research initiatives at competitors can help companies develop competitive strategies and build a moat around its products. In a perfectly competitive market, however, such moats do not exist. Information is equally and freely available to all market participants. This ensures that each firm can produce its goods or services at exactly the same rate and with the same production techniques as another one in the market.