Last fall, it was interesting to hear that Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo would collaborate to sell their online ad space. Before their partnership, there had never been any significant motivation for publishers to partake in this type of collaboration – in fact, many might have said that it was something along the lines of “competitive suicide.” Still, companies have tried, as we saw with 5to1 and News Corp. However, they have all seen the same fate, as a major flaw of these partnerships is something similar to the prisoner’s dilemma. This frequently leads to selfish behavior and a “must-win” attitude rather than a collaborative one, despite the potential benefits of working together for all involved parties.
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