NTT DoCoMo doesn’t want to look like a fool and simply watch its rival’s expansion in the U.S. And while we have hard time imagining a deal of the size of SoftBank’s Sprint acquisition, we also must note that DoCoMo is a bigger company and can thus spend more money if needed. However, it is said that DoCoMo is looking elsewhere for deals, namely Asia-Pacific and Europe.
We would have to guess they’ll go for the former considering the current economic crisis in Europe and the fact that many of these [European] markets already have super-high penetration levels. On the other hand, the Asia-Pacific region leaves a ton of room for growth opportunities.
It’s important to note that DoCoMo doesn’t have a great deal-making track-record. Between 1980 and 2001, the company was buying minority stakes in international peers such as AT&T and KPN but eventually booked significant losses on their disposal.
DoCoMo’s more recent ventures include mobile content and services businesses, such as Germany’s net mobile and Italy’s Buongiorno. So we’re not sure whether they’ll go for this kind of acquisition again, or take the SoftBank route and acquire a mobile operator. We’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as we have something new to add to this. Stay tuned…