Electronic B2B inter-marketplace alliances, mergers and acquisitions: motives, obstacles and trends

Professional analysts forecast an explosion of the number of business-to- business (B2B) e-marketplaces, followed by a consolidation process where alliances, mergers and acquisitions within the B2B e-marketplace space are becoming more important.

This qualitative cross-industry research of 26 cases of electronic B2B inter- marketplace alliances, mergers and acquisitions has resulted in conclusions regarding motives for, and obstacles with these B2B inter-marketplace partnerships. A number of trends affecting the future B2B e-marketplace configuration have also been identified. How to deal with the implications of these findings for B2B e-marketplaces and brick-and-mortar-companies are also discussed.

Liquidity was found as a motive for forming B2B inter-e-marketplace partnerships along with motives related to the market, technology and finance. Identified market-related motives for forming B2B inter-e- marketplace partnerships include getting access to new suppliers and buyers; having common suppliers and buyers; getting access to expertise; enhancing the image of the e-marketplace; sharing or reducing risk; joint marketing activities; and closing windows of opportunities and higher barriers to entry for competitors. Identified technology-related motives for forming B2B inter-e-marketplace partnerships include cross offering and co-development of service applications; exchange of value-added services; and standards enforcement. Identified financial-related motives were found to include getting access to capital and raising capital from investors.

Obstacles with forming B2B inter-e-marketplace partnerships are found to be market-, technology-, financial-, and governance-related. Obstacles include bad timing; time-consuming negotiations due to lack of focus; anti-trust laws; image focus; user face obstacles, application layer obstacles; platform/infrastructure layer obstacles; revenue sharing; take-over price; management; lack of trust; cultural differences; and collaboration and competition around intellectual property.

Author: Sandberg, Magnus; Westerberg, Eric

Source: LuleƄ University of Technology

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