Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) is considering taking action against NTT Corp’s regional fixed line operating units NTT East and NTT West, over concerns they are engaging in anti-competitive business practices that threaten to stifle competition in the domestic market. The Nikkei reported at the weekend that the MIC plans to contact both units to request they submit documents outlining their current operating procedures and practices, and ways to improve them by 31 March 2008. Under Japan’s Telecommunications Business Law, NTT and its regional operating units, both of which control a sizeable share of the fixed line and fibre-optic markets in their respective operating region, are prohibited from providing a discriminatory service or from unduly favouring any third-party service provider. Neither can they use any information gleaned through sub-leasing their networks to another operator for their own ends (eg for marketing purposes). However, the business law does not apply when it comes to NTT West and NTT East’s own subsidiaries and associates, and both have been accused of using this loophole to dodge the legal requirements of the Telecommunications Business Law in the past.