Rivals seek DoCoMo break-up

14 Mar 2006

Representatives of some of Japan’s smaller telecoms companies are calling on the government to break up the country’s dominant mobile operator NTT DoCoMo in a bid to develop competition in the JPY9,000 billion (USD76 billion) market. ‘The current state of the Japanese market is abnormal. A market where one company has a 56% market share…could be a breach of anti-monopoly rules,’ said Sachio Senmoto, the chief executive of mobile start-up eMobile. Mr Senmoto’s comments come as the domestic mobile phone market faces greater competition and as Heizo Takenaka, interior minister, has started reviewing the state of the telecoms and media sectors with a view to stimulating growth. However, NTT is believed to be interested in re-absorbing NTT DoCoMo which generated 65% of the group’s operating profit in 2005 – a move which the eMobile chief executive considers would be a mistake.