Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2007

Metro International S.A.

by Tarun Khanna, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Vincent Marie Dessain, Ane Damgaard Jensen and Anders Sjoman

Abstract

Explores the business model of Metro International, a company publishing 70 editions of its free newspaper in 20 countries. Metro had been a pioneer in the free newspaper market, fighting incumbent publishers distributing traditional paid-for newspapers. Looks at the decision facing top management of Metro International in 2007 regarding the future strategy of the company. The company had become profitable after years of losses, but other problems had surfaced; competition had increased heavily in many markets and advertising--the free newspapers only source of income--was quickly shifting from newspapers to the Internet. Spain was a particular case in point. What had Metro International learned from experiences elsewhere on the globe and would they allow the company to make the Spanish unit profitable? What strategy should the Spanish country manager adopt?

Keywords: Business Model; Business Strategy; Competitive Strategy; Online Advertising; Advertising; Expansion; Globalized Firms and Management; Journalism and News Industry; Spain;

Citation:

Khanna, Tarun, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Vincent Marie Dessain, Ane Damgaard Jensen, and Anders Sjoman. "Metro International S.A." Harvard Business School Case 708-429, September 2007.