Two giant US corporations, Liberty Media and Microsoft will announce today the merging of their cable TV assets in Japan in a bid to expand their high-speed "broadband" services across the nation.

The merged operations will be Liberty’s jointly-owned (with Japan’s Sumitomo) Jupiter Telecommunications, the nation’s largest cable network, and Titus Communications, 80%-owned by Microsoft. Liberty and Sumitomo will each hold a 35% of the merged company, Microsoft will take 24%, while Toshiba and Itochu Corporation will each take a 3% stake.

Jupiter, already the largest operator in Japan, brings around 600,000 subscribers to the party, while Titus has some 150,000 cable-TV customers. Their aggregated franchise areas total around seven million homes, offering considerable scope for future expansion.

News source: Wall Street Journal