Working paper

Industry boundaries in times of change: how do firms strategize?

We are interested in markets which are being restructured or about to be created, as a result of the co-evolution of technologies and market dynamics. A systemic analysis of competition alternatives among groups of firms seems more accurate in order to understand the impact of different dynamics at the early stage of market restructuring. We observe that firms operating in a high environmental uncertainty and blurring industry boundaries collaborate rather than compete (Gual, 2004) for shaping the foundation of market characteristics and to capture future rents appropriation. The focus of the paper is about the evolution and the redrawing of market boundaries among actors in a highly regulated environment. Specifically, we address the relationship between mobile operators and mobile manufacturers, and the different innovations related to the fixed / mobile convergence. We distinguish two phases, a phase one from vertical integration to disintegration (influence of regulation) and a phase two from disintegration to the early re-integration process (influences of market forces and the co-evolution of technologies). Our focus will be on the second phase and the mobile-fixed interface. Specifically we are interested how firms strategize vis-à-vis one another in shaping the foundation of new market characteristics by altering current industry boundaries.

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