M&A Impact on Ecosystems

What happens when a merger takes place in an ecosystem? 

That is not easy to tell, so let us take a very specific example an some assumptions to find out about the impact.

Example and Assumptions

A software vendor with two products offers one ecosystem respectively for partners. The partners, who offer products integrating with the software vendor´s products via applications programming interfaces (APIs), can position and sell their complementing products to customers. There is no reselling and no referrals and all partners are treated equally by the software vendor in each of the ecosystems. So the partners compete in each of the ecosystems.

The merger happens

The software vendor acquires and merges with Partner 1 from ecosystem 1. Now the software vendor becomes a competitor of Partner 2 and 3 in ecosystem 1. Ecosystem 2 remains unchanged. So what could the impact be and how could the partners react to the impact?

Reactions of partner 3 on the acquisition

Partner 3 is an active member in both ecosystems. So what are the options of Partner 3 to react on the acquisition of Partner 1 in ecosystem 1?

This again depends on the Market situation of Partner 1 and product offerings of Partner 3. Let us use the following table to review the options:

Find detailed information on the

Merger due diligence book homepage.


  • Saarenketo, S., Kuivalainen, O., Varis, J.: Partnering Strategies in Global Software business: A Contingency perspective. In: Tyrväinen, P., Jansen, S., Cusumano, M.A.: Software Business, Berlin, 2010, 63 – 75.
  • Popp, K.M.: Goals of Software Vendors for Partner Ecosystems – a practitioner´s view. In: Tyrväinen, P., Jansen, S., Cusumano, M.A.: Software Business, Berlin, 2010, 180 - 186.

(C) Dr. Karl Popp 2015