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"Am Markt" can only be used figuratively, while "auf dem Markt" might be either direct or figurative. In other words, if you report prices, both "an" and "auf" are possible, but if you recount an anecdote of what happened to you last week-end on the Christmas fair, you need to use "auf". Other than that, I perceive very little difference.


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"Am Markt" is frequently used in a business or economic context, it sounds more professional to me. It is however not related to "sich fortsetzen". See also http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/auf_Praeposition and http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/am#Bedeutung1a



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