Week 4 Discussion


For  this week’s discussion, the focus will be on examining Porter’s Five  Forces as a tool for looking at the pressure on  profits. Specifically, how does Porter’s analysis examine the stress on  profits from all directions and all dimensions of a firm’s  environment?  You will be applying this tool by specifically looking at  the market structure in which a firm completes.  You will need to be  able to distinguish an oligopoly from a monopolistic competitive market  structure.


There are two groups of firms below.

  • Group 1: firms in the retail sector (e.g. Amazon;  Wal-Mart; Target; Kohl’s; Sears; Macy’s)
  • Group  2: firms in the wireless services industry (e.g. Verizon; AT & T;  Sprint/T-Mobile) (this about telecommunication services, not about the  sale of phones)

For  each group determine and explain if the group is monopolistic  competitive or an oligopoly. You need to be specific for both in which market structure the firms operate.

Then  choose one of the firms from one group. Using a Porter’s analysis what  are the threat to profitability?  This would be a great time to expand  your research skills by checking out the firm’s investor relations  page.  Use the Research Hub. Go to the ECO550 Library landing page and if you need help.

Note:  In your discussion posts for ECO550, do not rely on Wikipedia, Investopedia, or any similar website as a reference.