• Kyodo, Staff Report

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NTT DoCoMo Inc. filed a complaint Wednesday against Softbank Mobile Corp. for charging a higher connection fee when users of other mobile phone companies call Softbank customers.

The complaint, filed with a government dispute body, represents the first fight over cellphone connection fees between major mobile phone service providers, said the Telecommunications Business Dispute Settlement Commission at the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

Softbank’s fee for fiscal 2010 is ¥22.86 per three minutes, compared with ¥15.66 charged by DoCoMo. This means DoCoMo must pay over ¥10 billion more in connection fees annually to Softbank than it receives from the rival.

DoCoMo has requested a cut in Softbank’s fee, claiming that Softbank could have taken advantage of the extra revenue to undercut its rivals on service charges.

DoCoMo is also demanding that Softbank disclose how it calculates its fee.

Softbank said its fee is based on the ministry’s guidelines and said it will consider its response after screening the complaint.

If the dispute body determines the complaint is valid, one of the members will make a proposal to settle the dispute.

But because it would be nonbinding, the two sides may not reach an agreement.

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