DEFINITION: An oligopsony is a market that is dominated by a small number of sellers.

ETYMOLOGY: The word “oligopsony” derives from the Greek adjective oligos, meaning “a little (not much)” or “few (not many),” and the verb opsōneō, meaning “buy.”

USAGE: An oligopsony from one point of view is often an oligopoly from the opposite point of view.

For example, the vast majority of the world’s primary cocoa production is bought by just three multinational companies.

By the same token, nearly all the world’s processed chocolate is sold by these same three companies and their subsidiaries.