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Course Description
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Business: E-Commerce and Online Business
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Business 300 English 3 45 N/A


Number of sessions: 30

Length of each session: 1,5 h

Total length of the module: 45 hours


The increasing development of information technologies (IT) has significantly affected
both firms and markets. IT is currently changing the world in a more permanent and farreaching
way than any other technology in the history of mankind. A new economy,
where knowledge is the most important strategic resource, is forcing firms to review
their traditional routines and take advantage of the tools able to create new value.
Meanwhile, the tool that is currently having the most significant effect in the business
world is the Internet. The Internet and the World Wide Web are revolutionizing the way
people, businesses and governments transact business via electronic commerce
(eCommerce). This process is just beginning but is already having enormous impact on
our activities and the way we relate to people and organizations. This course examines
the major concepts that enable eCommerce, including the Internet, security and
privacy, software and hardware architectures, policy, legal and economic issues. The
objectives of the course are to become familiar with the technologies, strategy and
management issues associated with eCommerce as well as to develop a good
understanding of the risks in its use.


1. Introduction to eBusiness and eCommerce (3 lessons):
The concept of eBusiness and eCommerce
Models and theoretical approaches to study Digital Economy
The history of eCommerce and Internet

2. Technical aspects and infrastructure of eCommerce (4 lessons):
Introduction to networks, hardware and software
Payment systems, electronic money and digital signature
What are the steps to create a web site to conduct eCommerce?
Digital design : Amazon (

3. Selling on the Web (3 lessons):
Business models in the Internet
(Michael Rappa:
How to create value in eBusiness (Amit, R. and Zott, C., 2001. Value Creation
in E-business. Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 22, No. 6/7, pp. 493-520 )
 How to make money in the Internet (Dell’s case study:

4. Marketing online (4 lessons):
Differences between traditional and online marketing
Implications of Internet in marketing decisions
Publicity and metrics in the Internet
Case study: News Aggregator Online

5. Legal environment in eCommerce (2 lessons)
Intellectual property rights ( , )
Legal environment of eCommerce and electronic contracting
Acquisition of services related to eCommerce
Responsibilities of the actors involved electronic contracting
Case study: intellectual property iTunes

6. Fiscal environment in eCommerce (2 lessons)
State of the art in EU, OECD and OMC. Experiences of the main countries of
the OECD
Tax system of eCommerce
Problems with VAT and other direct taxes
Case study

7. Case studies and presentations (7 lessons)
Navigation: Google (
Channel conflict: Orbitz (
Business models: Wikipedia (,
Classmates (
Auctions (


The final grade of each student is determined considering the following weights:
· 15% - Participation in class and involvement in class debates during presentations.
· 35% - Short case studies assignments: Quality and originality, as well as
commitment will be considered.
· 50% - Presentations. In groups of two to three, students will prepare one
presentation, each of approximately 25 minutes and 20 minutes more for discussions.
Each group will choose one topic from a list of topics provided by the instructor. Each
presentation will be given at a pre-defined date during the semester.


All necessary readings as well as the case-study pack and additional material will be
handed to you during the course.

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