Mitsubishi denies report on Motorola 3G talks

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has denied a Japanese media report that it is in the final stage of talks regarding a tie-up on 3G (third-generation) mobile telephone handsets with Motorola Inc.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported in its Friday morning edition that the two companies were close to a deal that would see a joint venture launched in North America to develop and manufacture 3G handsets for use in the worldwide market. The report, which quoted sources close to the matter, said Motorola would also lend a hand to Mitsubishi Electric’s marketing of its handsets in North America.

“We were in talks with Motorola previously but the talks have ended,” said the company in a statement. A Mitsubishi Electric spokesman declined to comment on when the talks took place.

The report came a day after Sony Corp. said it was in talks with L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. regarding a tie-up of their mobile handset businesses.

Japan is ahead of the rest of the world on the road toward commercial 3G services. NTT DoCoMo Inc. plans to launch its service at the end of May and many of the country’s major handset manufacturers are planning to launch 3G cell phones later this year, with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. and Fujitsu Ltd. expected to have them available as DoCoMo launches its network.

Coupled with the Japanese maker’s weakness in foreign markets, where companies like Nokia Corp., Motorola and Ericsson lead, tie-ups between Japanese and overseas manufacturers mean payoffs for both sides.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp., in Tokyo, can be found contacted at +81-3-3218-2111 or found online at Motorola, based in Schaumburg, Illinois, can be reached at +1-847-576-5000 or online at