Japan’s NTT to take full control of wireless unit Docomo for $38 billion: Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese telecoms group Nippon Telegraph and Telephone <9432.T> will take full control of its wireless carrier business NTT Docomo Inc <9437.T> for about 4 trillion yen ($37.89 billion), the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.

The move comes as Japan’s new prime minister Yoshihide Suga has criticised Japan’s top three mobile phone carriers including NTT Docomo, saying he wants more competition and lower rates.

NTT will seek to buy the remaining 34% of NTT Docomo and delist the business from the Tokyo stock exchange, the Nikkei said.

The move is intended to allow NTT Docomo to better respond to pressure from the government to cut mobile fees, according to the report.

Drastic fee cuts will temporarily take a toll on NTT Docomo’s earnings, but having NTT as the sole shareholder will help mitigate the negative impact, the Nikkei report said.

An NTT spokesman said the report was not based on what the company has announced. Representatives of NTT Docomo were not immediately available for comment.

NTT Docomo is Japan’s largest wireless carrier, followed by KDDI Corp <9433.T> and SoftBank Corp <9434.T>.

($1 = 105.5700 yen)

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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