Market share

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As market share ( English marketshare ) is generally referred to in the industry and especially in the market research the in percent expressed quantitative ( sales volume ) or value of ( revenue ) share of a company or product in the total market volume at a given point in time .


The compound market share is made up of the defining word “ market ” for the place of exchange of goods and the basic word “share” for the subset of a total amount . This market share is of essential importance for the importance of a company as a supplier , so that the economic key figure of the market share is one of the most important sales strategy figures and company data. In addition to the sales volume or sales revenue, other product-specific variables can also serve as a measurement variable for the key figure, for example the number of television viewers for the audience rating or the number of seats available at airlines .

The size of the market share plays a role in assessing market power , because market power correlates positively with market share. The largest market share - and thus the greatest market power - are held by monopolists (in the extreme case: 100%), followed by oligopolists (> 20 to <80%), while polypolists have the lowest market shares (<20%). If 5 companies have a 20% market share in an oligopoly , then there is a symmetrical oligopoly ; if the market shares differ, one speaks of an asymmetrical oligopoly . Market power does not play a role in Polypol.


Absolute market share

The absolute market share expresses the sales share of a company or product in the total market volume of the industry :

The absolute market share is used in common market share statistics. It is usually given in percent. However, it is not meaningful on polypolistic markets because even small market shares can be sufficient for market leadership . The relative market share is more helpful here.

relative market share

It indicates the proportion of the absolute market share of the largest competitor 's own absolute market share . It is therefore the distance between the market leader and the closest competitor and reflects the market position of a company in relation to its most important competitor. It is given in percent or as a share without a unit.

If the relative market share of a company is as high as that of its strongest competitor, the relative market share is 100% (or 1); if it is lower, the competitor is stronger. Any value over 100% (over 1) indicates market leadership in terms of relative market share:

This approach is z. B. used in strategic management in the form of the BCG matrix . Accordingly, the market risk decreases when the relative market share increases due to market growth .

Economic aspects

Companies with a small market share cannot exercise any market power and behave as volume adjusters . However, in exceptional cases with high residual load , tight capacities and low demand elasticities , a low market share can help to gain market power. A high market share leads to market power, which enables a company to influence the market price and makes it a price adjuster . The largest market share allotted to a company makes it the market leader. Large companies therefore only try to operate in markets where they can take on the role of market leader. The larger the number of providers in an oligopoly, the closer the market price approaches the marginal costs . The greater the elasticity of demand, the smaller the price premium on the marginal costs will be, and the larger the market share, the higher the premium will be.

Dominant position

The market share is also a legal concept of antitrust law , because the market share is an important indication of the existence of market power. However, it does not offer a legal definition , but assumes the concept of market share to be known. When assessing the market position of a company in relation to its competitors, the market share according to Section 18 (3) No. 1 GWB is an essential criterion. In the case of a market share of at least 40%, according to Section 18 (4) GWB, it is rebuttably presumed that there is a dominant market position ; in the case of a total of companies (2 or 3 companies), 50% market share is deemed to be dominant, in the case of 4 or 5 companies 66 2 / 3% (Section 18 (6) GWB; “presumption of oligopoly”). As a rule, the market share is to be determined according to the turnover, only subsidiary to the sales figures. According to the case law of the ECJ, market shares of more than 50% are proof of a dominant position. Companies with a dominant position are prohibited from certain types of behavior. The European and German antitrust authorities can investigate a breach of such behavior by companies with a dominant market position as part of abuse proceedings (Art. 102 TFEU, in Germany also Section 19 GWB).

Market share statistics

Among the automobile manufacturers , Volkswagen led the number of new registrations in October 2016 with a market share of 18.8%, followed by Mercedes (9.5%), Audi (8.9%), BMW (7.8%) and Opel (7.5%) and Ford (7.2%). When it comes to smartphones , Samsung (20%) led the way in the third quarter of 2016, ahead of Apple (12.5%), Huawei (9.3%) and Oppo Electronics (7%) , also in terms of number of units . The development of the market shares of browser families (excluding smartphones) shows that Microsoft continuously fell from 40.6% (in January 2009) to 9.8% (September 2016), while at the same time Google Chrome fell from 1.3% to 58, 7% at the expense of Microsoft and Firefox halved its share from 27% to 13.7%. The value-based market shares of the food retail trade in 2015 were distributed among the market leader Edeka (including Netto Marken-Discount and Plus Warenhandelsgesellschaft ) with 25.3%, followed by Rewe Group (with Penny ; 15%), Schwarz Group (with Lidl and Kaufland ; 14 , 7%) and Aldi (11.9%). These four largest chains have a 67% market share. In 2015, the Universal Music Group owned 33.5% of the sound carrier market , followed by Sony Music Entertainment (22.6%) and the Warner Music Group (17.1%), making these three major labels the Control the sound carrier market with around 75% share. In 2015, Henkel led the detergent manufacturers with 45.6%, followed by Procter & Gamble (26.7%) and Aldi (8.7%). The market share of German airlines in terms of seating capacity to and from Germany to decline in trend . In 2012 they were 69%, in 2015 they only reached 62%. The reason is the growth of foreign low-cost airlines despite high market barriers . The ratings for news programs in 2015 were 4.99 million viewers for the Tagesschau , followed by heute-journal (3.72), heute (3.6), RTL aktuell (3.14) and Tagesthemen (2.46 ).


Market shares can often only be interpreted with additional information. It is necessary to specify the market segment described and the region under consideration . It is Z. For example, there is a considerable difference between looking at the market share of an automobile manufacturer in the overall automotive market ( world market ) or only in the USA , or whether one only analyzes sports cars and therefore evaluates the sports car market. An even finer subdivision would also be conceivable. These delimitations can be made possible statistically through aggregation in sub-markets . As the highest aggregation, the world market leader has the largest share of the world market.

See also


  • Peter R. Preißler: Key business figures: formulas, informative value, target values, determination intervals. 2008, ISBN 3486238884 , page 220–221 [Online]

Individual evidence

  1. Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon, Volume 4, keyword market share , 1983, Col. 224 f.
  2. Herbert H. Berschin, Key Figures for Operational Practice , 1980, p. 36 ff.
  3. Professor Dr. Gert A. Hoepner: relative_market share. In: WirtschaftsWiki. Retrieved December 10, 2019 .
  4. Herbert H. Berschin, Key Figures for Operational Practice , 1980, p. 38
  5. Dominik Möst, Energiesystemanalyse , 2008, p. 141
  6. Oliver Reiber, Competitive behavior of the German mineral oil industry in the fuel retail trade, especially price behavior , 2009, p. 273
  7. BGH, judgment of July 7, 1992, Az .: KVR 14/91, in: WuW / E BGH 2783, 2790 - Trademark acquisition
  8. ECJ, Coll. 1991, I-3359, Rn. 60 - AKZO
  9. Statista, the statistics portal, food retail in Germany: market shares of leading companies in 2015
  10. AGF / GfK television research 2015
  11. BpB: market share. In: Duden Economy. BpB, accessed August 19, 2009 .