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[Pacific Daily News] DOCOMO Pacific Telecom Merger On Guam Completed

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Japan-based company promises customers good service

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 22, 2013) – The second-largest telecom deal in recent Guam history is now official.

Japan-based NTT DOCOMO’s purchase of MCV Broadband and related assets on Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has gained the final regulatory hoop — with the Federal Communications Commission approval of the proposed transfer of assets, officials from both companies announced.

The purchase price was $129.8 million, said DOCOMO Pacific Chief Executive Officer Jay Shedd. DOCOMO Pacific is a subsidiary of NTT DOCOMO, a telecom giant in Japan.

Local government-owned Guam Telephone Authority sold for $150 million to a group of private investors in 2004.

Customers of both MCV and DOCOMO — MCV alone has 50,000 customers — can expect good service and better value through bundling, Shedd said.

Shedd said the acquisition involved DOCOMO’s Japan parent buying a company of about the same size in terms of workforce. The current DOCOMO holds the majority market share in the wireless phone market.

MCV Broadband has more than 75 percent of the cable TV market, said MCV CEO Craig Thompson.

The MCV CEO has made plans to retire.

With the completion of the acquisition, Thompson said he’s returning to the states to be closer to friends and family.

“I’ve been working for this for seven years and I am going to retire — this is a good thing,” Thompson said.

None of MCV’s more than 200 workers and DOCOMO’s more than 200 workers will lose their jobs as a result of the acquisition, Shedd said.

“This is an acquisition of a company of a similar size,” Shedd said. “In designing this merged operation, we aren’t going to let people go,” Shedd said.

MCV will change its brand as DOCOMO, Shedd said.

For now, customers will receive separate billings from MCV and DOCOMO.

Shedd said the combination of DOCOMO’s and MCV’s strengths, as market leaders in wireless phone and cable TV markets, respectively, will provide a solid foundation “to provide good services to our customers.”

“We’ve always wanted to be a world-class telecommunications provider in Guam and the CNMI and this allows us to do that,” Shedd said.

The FCC approval followed a procedural review by federal government agencies involved in national security.

The FBI, Homeland Security and other federal agencies cleared NTT DOCOMO’s proposed purchase of MCV Broadband on Guam and in the Northern Marianas about a month ago, a document filed with the FCC shows.

Nippon Telephone and Telegraph owns at least 63 percent of NTT DOCOMO while the Japan Finance Ministry owns more than 32 percent of the Japan telecommunications giant.

The national security review was prompted by the Japan government’s ownership of part of NTT DOCOMO.

An NTT DOCOMO letter to the FCC on April 10 states that DOCOMO representatives had a meeting with the Justice Department on the Japan media giant’s “recent activities and on the close ties between the Japanese and U.S. government.”

NTT DOCOMO has signed a security agreement with the federal agencies dealing with national security when DOCOMO Pacific bought GUAMCELL and HafaTel wireless phone companies on Guam for $71 million in 2006.

Seaport Capital, the investment firm that primarily owned MCV, had invested more than $18 million to upgrade MCV’s system on Guam in 2003, FCC filings show.

No opposition to the proposed sale was filed, and one letter of support for the acquisition was filed with the FCC, confirmed DOCOMO Pacific legal counsel James Hofman.

The local Public Utilities Commission approved the acquisition last year.

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com
Copyright © 2013 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

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