America Online and Japanese mobile telecoms giant NTT DoCoMo yesterday announced a partnership linking the world’s two leading ISPs, providing both with a springboard for global growth.

The deal will see DoCoMo becoming a 42.3% shareholder in AOL’s Japanese subsidiary, AOL Japan, in return for a cash investment of around $100 million. To release this block of stock, AOL will downnsize its current 50% stake to 40.3%, while other local stockholders – trading company Mitsui and publisher Nihon Keizai Shimbun – will respectively reduce their holdings to 13.2% and 4.2%.

The controlling twosome will together launch an internet portal for wireless carriers, at the same time developing technologies and services for internet access via hand-held devices.

Investment in companies working on the convergence of fixed-line and mobile technology is also part of the strategic plan.

News source: Financial Times