NTT DoCoMo/SK Telecom alliance talks collapse –

Long-running talks between NTT DoCoMo Inc. and SK Telecom Co. Ltd. over the possibility of NTT DoCoMo taking a stake in the Korean carrier collapsed Wednesday.

"Owing to current market conditions and various other factors, including failure by both firms to satisfy certain mutual requirements, the negotitions were terminated today," NTT DoCoMo said in a brief statement issued Wednesday.

The talks began in mid-May 2000, days after NTT DoCoMo paid 5 billion euros for a 15 percent stake in KPN Mobile NV and at a time when many wireless carrier stocks were at their highs. Those talks have continued, more or less, ever since despite disagreement over the price of the stake, sources say.

Since the talks began, stock prices have been on a gradual slide and NTT DoCoMo has watched its investment in KPN Mobile drop by around 90 percent and seen the value of stakes in AT&T Wireless Corp., Taiwan's KG Telecommunications Co. Ltd. and Hong Kong's Hutchison Telephone Co. Ltd. also fall.

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