Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2000 (Revised October 2000)

Open Market, Inc.: The E-Commerce Wars

by James I. Cash Jr., Janis Lee Gogan, Michael Haselkorn and Mani Subramani


Continues the story of Open Market, Inc., a company founded in 1994 to support electronic commerce on the Internet. Despite a very successful initial public offering, the firm had reached a growth plateau, and the management team was considering several strategic options. Should it focus on building market share of its simple "storefront" product shop site (which was targeted at small e-merchants) or develop new channels for their high-end order-processing software, Transact? The 1999 holiday season was rapidly approaching, and Open Market's management team hoped to benefit from a predicted surge in online sales.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Technological Innovation; Management; Growth and Development Strategy; Marketing Channels; Product Marketing; Product Development; Competitive Strategy; Corporate Strategy; Information Technology Industry; Web Services Industry;


Cash, James I., Jr., Janis Lee Gogan, Michael Haselkorn, and Mani Subramani. "Open Market, Inc.: The E-Commerce Wars." Harvard Business School Case 800-255, February 2000. (Revised October 2000.)