eBay, Inc. and Amazon.com (A)

Posted: 7 Jun 2012

See all articles by Ramon Casadesus-Masanell

Ramon Casadesus-Masanell

Harvard University - Strategy Unit

Anant Thaker

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Date Written: April 3, 2012


This case has been designed to explore strategic interactions among organizations with different business models. The case considers how a competitor successfully challenged the incumbent in a platform market defined by strong network effects and high switching costs. The case allows students to assess the advantages and disadvantages of eBay's platform business model in comparison to Amazon's retail business model; to evaluate business model performance when value loops of two industry players interact; to analyze how Amazon expanded its business model and overcame barriers to entry in a platform market that generates winner-take-all effects for first movers; discuss how eBay can respond to the new competitive dynamic, exploring both tactical and strategic interactions; and assess the strategic implications of eBay's 2011 acquisition of GSI Commerce.

Suggested Citation

Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon and Thaker, Anant, eBay, Inc. and Amazon.com (A) (April 3, 2012). Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Case No. 712-405, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2079134

Ramon Casadesus-Masanell (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Strategy Unit ( email )

Harvard Business School
Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-496-0176 (Phone)
617-496-5859 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.people.hbs.edu/rmasanell

Anant Thaker

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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