| TOKYO, June 26
TOKYO, June 26 Japan's KDDI Corp and
SoftBank Corp said bigger rival NTT DoCoMo Inc (DoCoMo)
could gain too much control of the wireless
telecommunications business should DoCoMo's parent offer its
fibre-optic broadband for resale.
Former state monopoly Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp
(NTT) in May said it planned to sell its fibre-optic
broadband to mobile phone network providers, which can then
re-brand the service and sell it together with mobile phone
At present, NTT sells its fibre-optic broadband
independently or in partnership with SoftBank, whereas KDDI
offers its own service. Of Japan's three mobile network
providers, only DoCoMo lacks a fibre-optic component.
But NTT selling DoCoMo the service risks reviving the former
monopoly of NTT, which is still 36 percent government owned,
KDDI and SoftBank said separately. NTT has dismissed the notion.
"The current law doesn't say anything specifically on
wholesale schemes. But one wonders, just because it doesn't say
anything, whether it should be allowed to go ahead," KDDI Chief
Executive Takashi Tanaka said after a news conference on
KDDI earlier this month sent a letter of complaint to the
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) saying NTT and
DoCoMo could end up controlling broadband prices, "leading to a
loss of incentives for competitors to invest in infrastructure."
DoCoMo, 63 percent-owned by NTT, last week said it planned
to bundle mobile and NTT broadband services but did not disclose
Any sales of the package is likely to hurt KDDI as that
company's revenue growth over the past few quarters has been
largely driven by its "Smart Value" broadband and mobile
bundles, said analyst Peter Milliken of Deutsche Bank in a
SoftBank said NTT could violate anti-monopoly regulations by
offering its fibre-optic broadband for resale without making the
terms of any resulting arrangements public.
"The terms of usage should be made clear, so that METI and
competitors can check it's (NTT) not breaking the law," SoftBank
said in a document released earlier this month by METI.
NTT has dismissed any notion of monopolistic practices.
"Of course, we'll be fair," Hiroshi Tsujigami, NTT senior
vice president of corporate strategy planning, said in a recent
interview with Reuters.
"From our position, we want more people to use the fibre
network, so we'll rent it based on the traditional competitive
(Editing by Ritsuko Ando and Christopher Cushing)