David and Goliath. The spanish match industry in international perspective (1892-1956)

Authors

  • Águeda Gil-López Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Elena San Román Universidad Complutense de Madrid

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1344/rhi.v21i48.20849

Keywords:

Match Industry, Business History, Monopoly, Family Business, Business Networks

Abstract

This work studies the evolution of the match industry in Spain, since its origins until 1956, when the state match monopoly was eliminated. This monopoly was leased for more than thirty years to a family business, the Compañía Arrendataria de Fósforos, a member of a holding company born in the 1920s, Fierro Group. Its early internationalization was supported in creating business networks that were very valuable in the autarkic Spain. In the 1950s, this group owned match companies in Portugal, Morocco and several Latin American countries like Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador. From the international point of view, the match market has worked as a perfect cartel, dominated by a few industrial giants that experienced a vital growth based on horizontal integration and multiple partnerships for sharing the market.

Published

2017-12-21

Issue

Section

Articles