DoCoMo to push wallet phone through Tower Records Japan

DoCoMo plans to buy a 42 percent stake in Tower Records Japan for $108.2 million. DoCoMo will buy 32.3 percent of the stake from Nikko Principal Investments and the remaining 9.7 percent from other shareholders to become the largest owner in Tower Records Japan. The deal will outfit Japan's Tower Record stores with handset readers and offer in-store promotions for customers who use their wallet phones to make purchases.

DoCoMo already has phone readers in many convenience stores, video stores and restaurants across the country, but currently only 30 percent of its customers use the payment functions on their handsets. By buying a controlling stake in Tower Records Japan, DoCoMo can better facilitate and encourage use of its wallet phones. The investment also marks DoCoMo's first investment in a non-mobile enterprise. Whether it's a wise move is yet to be seen: There can't be too many wallet phone users out there who are technologically savvy enough to prefer using their phone to pay, but old fashioned enough to shell out the money for a compact disc.

For more on DoCoMo's investment in Tower Records Japan:
- take a look at this article from the AP