Examining the strategy underlying adoption of new information technologies has long been an interesting and challenging research issue. The emergence of the Internet, and the myriad new technologies that it makes possible, increases both the complexity and the importance of this issue. This research focuses on strategic response to threats posed by innovative new technologies adopted as open standards in electronic markets for information goods. Standards have always been important in the development of commercial markets, and are especially so in e-commerce, and many established industry leaders face a difficult challenge in responding appropriately to disruptive shifts in the marketplace, yet the link between these two phenomena has not been examined. This study begins to address the issue of whether the existence of open standards affects the strategic response of industry leaders, and in particular whether it pushes them to more rapidly embrace e-commerce opportunities.