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According to Rebecca Larson, assistant Professor of Business at Liberty University, Starbucks partnered with Barnes and Nobles bookstores in 1993 to provide in-house coffee shops, benefiting both retailers. In 1996, Starbucks partnered with Pepsico to bottle, distribute and sell the popular coffee-based drink, Frappacino. A Starbucks-United Airlines alliance has resulted in their coffee being offered on flights with the Starbucks logo on the cups and a partnership with Kraft foods has resulted in Starbucks coffee being marketed in grocery stores. In 2006, Starbucks formed an alliance with the NAACP, the sole purpose of which was to advance the company's and the NAACP's goals of social and economic justice.

According to "An Overview of Strategic Alliances," Apple has partnered with Sony, Motorola, Phillips, and AT&T in the past. Apple has also partnered more recently with Clearwell in order to jointly develop Clearwell's E-Discovery platform for the Apple iPad. E-Discovery is used by enterprises and legal entities to obtain documents and information in a "legally defensible" manner, according to a 2010 press release.

Hewlett Packard and Disney
Hewlett-Packard and Disney have a long-standing alliance, starting back in 1938, when Disney purchased eight oscillators to use in the sound design of Fantasia from HP founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. When Disney wanted to develop a virtual attraction called Mission: SPACE, Disney Imagineers and HP engineers relied on HP's IT architecture, servers and workstations to create Disney's most technologically advanced attraction.

Eli Lilly
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly has been forming alliances for nearly a century, according to its brochure, Power in Partnerships, and was the first in their industry to establish an office devoted to alliance management. Lilly currently has over one hundred partnerships around the world devoted to discovery, development, and marketing. For example, Lilly partners with the Belgiumbased company Galapagos to develop treatments for osteoporosis. Lilly also partners with Canada's BioMS medical group in a licensing and development agreement for a novel treatment for multiple sclerosis. In Japan, Lilly is partnering with Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd., to bring a targeted cancer treatment to market. Lilly will have the exclusive license to develop and sell the product worldwide except in Japan, and the two companies will share rights in certain Asian countries.


A strategic alliance can ease entry into a foreign market. First, the local firm can provide knowledge of markets, customer preferences, distribution networks, and suppliers. This is especially true in Eastern Europe. Bestfoods is a food-processing firm that sells products such as Mazola corn oil. Bestfoods has formed strategic alliances with firms in several Eastern European countries that, in turn, market its products. A strategic alliance between British Airways and American Airlines was created in 1993 and designed to give the two airlines increased access to North American and European markets, respectively. Sometimes, foreign countries require that a certain percentage of ownership remain in the hands of its citizens. For example, in Mexico, foreign investment is limited by law to 49 percent in specified areas, including bonding companies, firms that print and publish periodicals for national distribution, engine and car repairs, and operation of railway terminals. Thus, foreign firms cannot enter such markets alone; a joint venture is required.