Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ebay's Whitman sees Ebay, Yahoo, Google and Amazon specialising rather than competing

In an interview with the Financial Times yesterday Meg Whitman of Ebay stated that she sees the four leading Internet groups: Ebay, Yahoo, Google and Amazon focussing on their specialisations and strengths over time and not competing with eachother.

"I think we will end up specialising," she told the FT in an interview on Tuesday. "We have specialised in e-commerce, payment and voice communication. Google stands for search, Yahoo largely stands for content - so I think we may on the fringe compete, but I suspect that over time the businesses will become more specialised."

Come on Meg! Isn't that a little hopeful. It looks to me like the four groups will increasingly converge. And Ebay moved away from their specialisation a long time ago. How does Google Base have anything to do with Search and how does Yahoo mail and IM have anything to do with content.

I agree that the four companies will always be different by virtue of their origins (which may be what Whitman really means), but to expect us to believe that the four will not increasingly compete and converge over time feels like someone's trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

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