First ever ? Pardon me while I get up off the floor and reach for my sources.
The term "monopoly" first appears in Aristotle's Politics. Aristotle describes Thales of Miletus's cornering of the market in olive presses as a monopoly (μονοπωλίαν) ... Under mercantilist economic systems, European governments with colonial interests often granted large and extremely lucrative monopolies
An enactment published by Gratian, Valentinian and Theodosius was not content merely to proclaim the manufacture of purple an official monopoly but also made a monopoly of the sale of fabrics dyed with blatta, oxyblatta and hyacinthina
At the time of Edward VI the sovereign was accustomed to grant special privileges to his favourites, which constituted a practical monopolyEtc etc etc, through ancient Chinese salt monopolies, the East India Company ... Sheesh. Is there no such thing as an 'editor' at the Beeb these days? Still, what would they be expected to know about monopolies, eh ..?