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Japan telecom gets b’cast OK

Venture a first for NTT

TOKYO — The Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has granted a broadcast license to a group that includes NTT, marking the first time that the telecommunications giant has entered the broadcasting business.

The NTT satcasting group bid includes cellular phone company NTT Docomo as well as ad agency Dentsu and two news agencies.

Starting in about December 2000, its satellite broadcasting service will supply news and other information. NTT plans to offer interactive service through telephone connections and Internet shopping services.

In granting the NTT group the license, the ministry limited NTT’s stake to less than 3% and NTT subsids to less than 33%.

NTT, a former government monopoly, has deep pockets and control over the largest fiber optic network in Japan. Analysts said that NTT’s entry into the broadcasting market is certain to lead to realignments in the industry.

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