Vertical Integration of Digital Platforms in the Agricultural Industry

Saroniemi, Roni
Koskinen, Kari
Tuunainen, Virpi
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Vertical integration is a strategic option for a company that aims to have direct control over its value chain. With regards to digital platforms, vertical integration as a strategy is, to an extent, paradoxical, since platforms’ operating models are largely based on external actors with whom the platform owners have only an arm’s-length relationship. Many large digital platform companies have pursued vertical integration and research has been conducted on the subject, yet it is often industry-agnostic and focuses on large digital platform companies. We sought to identify the vertical integration strategies of digital platforms in the agricultural industry, as well as understand the firm- and industry-level drivers behind them. The results showed that these drivers impact vertical integration of digital platforms, which occurs along the value chain of a platform’s user groups and not solely along that of the platform. Furthermore, digitalization and data open new avenues for vertical integration.
Managing the Dynamics of Platforms and Ecosystems, agriculture industry, digital platforms, strategy, vertical integration
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