So much for specialization

Will the internet giants learn to play nice? Don’t bet on it.

From today’s Financial Times: “The four dominant internet groups – Google, Yahoo, eBay and Amazon – will increasingly focus on their core activities rather than compete with each other head-on, according to Meg Whitman, eBay’s chief executive. ‘I think we will end up specializing,’ she told the FT in an interview yesterday.”

Later in the same interview, Whitman described eBay’s new Express site: “It will pull together the new and in-season items in a fixed-price format … If, for example, you want a gift that you need in a couple of days you might just want to get in and out, and this will provide a more convenience-orientated shopping experience.”

Hmm. Isn’t that Amazon’s business?

5 thoughts on “So much for specialization

  1. Dave Taylor

    Good call. To say that the four biggest companies won’t compete on the Internet is to feed pablum to a naive reporter, in my view. Of course they’re going to compete, that’s how you grow and succeed long-term.

  2. Murali

    Wonder where Amazon figures in this scheme of things. The 2nd paragraph of the article reads


    Search = Google

    Content = Yahoo !

    Commerce = eBay

    Payments = PayPal

    Communication = Skype

  3. Ruben Timmerman

    Wonder where Microsoft fits in this scheme of things. If the FT puts it this way, it could be:

    Accessing A.O.T.A. = Microsoft

    Although making * accessibly is Google’s slogan also. And since when are content and search something else? Or rather, aren’t those two coming closer to eachother every day?

    I think it’s not a matter of companies competing more or less, but a matter of their users’ behavior driving their businesses closer to eachother because of integration, communication, filtering, etc.

  4. Artashes

    “I think we will end up specializing”… – Have we forgotten that CEO’s first job is to be a politician? Not in the most naive way that Whitman delivered, of course, but close. While she says one thing, she does the other.

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