FTC suggests dealing with NTT DoCoMo.
A senior Fair Trade Commission (FTC) official hinted Wednesday that leading mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo Inc. may be targeted by a policy guideline drafted the same day to promote competition in Japan's cloistered telecommunications market.
Although he did not specify NTT DoCoMo by name, FTC Secretary General Akio Yamada apparently referred to the company by saying that moves by a mobile phone operator to defer offering the technology it jointly developed with telephone set makers could be ''problematic in light of the Antimonopoly Law.''
The five-point guideline jointly drafted by the FTC and the telecom ministry is aimed at clarifying competition rules and complementing the Antimonopoly Law in governing telecom carriers, Yamada said in a press conference.
The guideline, which will be formalized in August at the earliest, prohibits dominant carriers from overshadowing newcomers that use their facilities and forces carriers possessing utility poles, channels and other base facilities to make them accessible to other companies.
It also prohibits carriers from interfering in business tie-ups by related program content providers with other companies.
The draft, however, does not address the high profile issue of setting a limit on the stockholdings by holding company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. in NTT DoCoMo and other dominant affiliates.
The guideline marks the first policy coordination effort between the FTC and the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry since the fair trade watchdog came under the ministry's jurisdiction in the Jan. 6 realignment of government bodies.