Imagine an open-air market in a developing country—a busy, bustling, lively place. Customers move from one vendor to another, testing the produce, haggling over prices, seeking the best value for their money. The vendors extol the virtues of their produce, offering bargains in an effort to attract more customers. It's an age-old system based on open competition; vendors who offer the best value do the most business and the customers benefit.
Now imagine a market where all the poultry vendors sell their chickens at the same price, a price that always seems to be a little higher than last week, just like the price of sugar, which has gone up— again! To make matters worse, the bank charges a higher and higher commission to release the money that your family members send from their jobs overseas. Then there's the bus ride back to the village. There used to be several bus companies. Now there's only one, and the fare has doubled. But what can the consumer do if there's no competition?