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First come, first served: How market and non-market actions influence pioneer market share

By Belén Usero and Zulima Fernández


This study examines the relationship between the erosion of first-mover advantages and the competitive behavior of pioneer and follower firms in a service industry--in this case, the European mobile telecommunications industry. The research analyzes the role of market actions related to innovation, pricing and promotion, and non-market actions related to judicial issues. The study finds that first movers enjoy a sustainable market share advantage in this service industry, but that this advantage depends on the type of actions taken by pioneers and followers. Specifically, followers that take more market actions than the pioneer are not able to erode the first-mover's advantage. However, followers taking more non-market actions - such as litigation and complaints - are successful at taking market share from the pioneer.Pioneer advantage Market actions Innovation Non-market actions Legal actions Service industries Telecommunications industry

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