5171 Internet Economics
Mag.Mag. Sandra Paulhart-Hebenstreit, MSc (WU), Univ.Prof. Dr. Sarah Spiekermann-Hoff
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
01/28/19 to 04/26/19
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 04/30/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.5.03
Friday 05/03/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.3.08
Friday 05/10/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.3.08
Tuesday 05/14/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.4.12
Friday 05/17/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.3.08
Tuesday 05/21/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.4.12
Friday 05/24/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.3.09
Tuesday 05/28/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.2.01
Tuesday 06/04/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.4.12
Friday 06/14/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.3.08
Tuesday 06/18/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.4.12
Tuesday 06/25/19 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM TC.5.15

The Internet and its "Information Rules" has dramatically influenced how many industries co-operate and exchange goods and services today. It has changed our thinking about feasible business models. It is disrupting major industries such as the media business. Old industry giants (such as publishing houses) are trying to find their way around in this new era of commerce and attempt to fight off young competitors. The newbies that rapidly grew to dominate the IT industry (i.e. Amazon, Google, Apple, etc.) are fiercely competing with each other, merging rapidly on and off their core competencies. For example, Google starts to sell its own operating system and even phones (Android, Motorola), Apple becomes an application service provider,Amazon sells Labor (Amazon Turk) and Cloud Computing Services.

After attending this course, students will have learned about the particular dynamics underlying Internet Economics, including Price Differentiation, Switching Cost and Lock-in, Supply-side economics in hightech markets (and winner-takes-all phenomena), Network effects, Standardization dynamics, Free business models and their importance in 2-sided markets, Revenue sharing and new forms of contract.

Learning outcomes

After attending this course, students will have learned about the particular dynamics underlying
Internet Economics, in particular:

  • Price Differentiation
  • Versioning, Switching Cost and Lock-in
  • Supply-side economics in high tech markets (and winner-takes-all phenomena)
  • Network effects
  • ‘Free’ business models and the importance of 2-sided markets
  • The economics of search
  • Sharing economy
  • Data markets
  • IT Business Models
  • IT Innovation Processes 

In addition, this course fosters the following soft skills:
• Economic thinking about the economics of information markets
• Presentation skills
• Team skills
• Debating

Attendance requirements

Following attendance is mandatory:

  • attendance in the introductory unit (else you will lose the place in the course)
  • attendance of 80%
Teaching/learning method(s)

This class sees a mixture of top-down lecturing, group work and discussions in classe, in-class debates, videos, and student team presentations. Real-world cases are debated to see how economic theory is applied to practice. Each week students will receive a lecture and a reading assignment on an Internet economics construct. One big-presentation project at the end of the semester will allow students to delve deeply into one particular Internet Economics subject of their choice.


Performance will be evaluated according to following criteria:
• Tests (40%)
• Short presentation of reading/study material ("PPT Karaoke") (30%)
• Group presentation and poster creation (30%)

Test must be positive (50% of achievable points), to pass the course.

Total of 180 course points.
91 course points to pass the course.

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

The SBWL Grundkurs has to be successfully completed.



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Last edited: 2018-12-10