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Do monopolies really exist in the 'real' world??

Do monopolies really exist in the 'real' world?? Or, is the perception of a monopoly a display of a limited perspective when it comes to the development of alternatives to what the supposed monopolies provide? How might the existence of monopolies spur the innovation of new products and services to supplant their monopolistic position?

In the second half of the 19th Century in the USA, the railroads were considered to have monopolistic power. Why? How? And, what happened? How does the definition of a market, or for that matter, a business strategy, affect that perception of a monopoly?

Can monopolies charge whatever price they want? Why or why not? Let's discuss the pricing policies of monopolies. How do they contrast with the pricing policy of a pure competitor?

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