Ref: IMD-7-2200

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2200

Order this case study

Connecting the world: From AT&T to Zoom

Knut Haanaes

By Professor Knut HaanaesKnut Haanaes, Lisa Simone Duke and Øystein D. Fjeldstad

This case starts by looking at AT&T a giant in the telecommunications world and then how it was broken up through anti-trust regulations. Despite that, AT&T is today the world’s largest telecommunications company, although it was widely recognized as having missed the boat on leveraging OTT opportunities.

The case then moves to Zoom, which, in part thanks to COVID-19, has exponentially grown and stands to potentially become a threat to various platforms. However, by late spring 2020 other platforms such as Google and Facebook were challenging Zoom with free offerings.

The case ends asking what should Zoom’s founder, Yuan do to avoid missing the boat like AT&T and being out competed by larger integrated platforms?

Learning Objective

This case is part of a mini-case series “Reshaping Industries – Embracing the New Normal Mini Case Series“.

Learning objectives focus on business models and how these can threaten or become threatened quickly with the rise in technology.

In this case, how AT&T was broken up but resurged although is today threatened again. How Zoom, in contrast, has risen as a result of leveraging an opportunity but how can it remain competitive in the threat of larger integrated competitors?

Keywords Strategy
Settings 1982 to 2020
Type Published Sources
Copyright ©IMD 2020
Order this case study

Reference: IMD-7-2200

IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre, UK Office

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Fax +44 (0)1234 751125
Email [email protected]

The Case Centre, US office

Babson College

Babson Park, Wellesley MA 02457, USA
Tel +1 781 239 5884
Fax +1 781 239 5885
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Copyright information

IMD retains all proprietary interests in its case studies and notes. Without prior written permission, IMD cases and notes may not be reproduced, used, translated, included in books or other publications, distributed in any form or by any means, stored in a database or in other retrieval systems. For additional copyright information related to case studies, please contact Case Services.


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2200

Order this case study
Looking for something specific?

Keep reading