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antidisintermediation

Contributor(s): Peter Fingar

In commerce, antidisintermediation is a term used to describe the preservation of intermediary positions. Today's consumer can access goods or information on the Internet that traditionally required the assistance of an intermediary such as a retailer, travel agent, or banker. By cutting out the middleman (disintermediation), e-businesses are able to sell goods and services more quickly and efficiently, and for lower prices.

Antidisintermediation measures are carried out through business incentives (or disincentives) and legal actions to ensure that intermediary positions are not eliminated. Since a good deal of profit is made by individuals or businesses serving as intermediaries between the primary source of a good or service and the consumer, intermediaries are using antidisintermediation measures to re-establish their niche in the changing economy.

In one example of antidisintermediation (cited in "The death of "e"and the Birth of the Real New Economy: Business Models, Technologies and Strategies for the 21st Century" by Peter Fingar and RonaldAronica), Home Depot sent a letter to 1,000 of its suppliers (including Black & Decker and General Electric, for example) warning them that the company would be less likely to do business with those among them who also marketed their goods online.

This was last updated in June 2010

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