Turkcell sues South African mobile firm

Turkcell sues South African mobile firm

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkcell sues South African mobile firm

Turkcell has filed a $4.2 billion law suit against South African mobile operator MTN regarding a license in Iran.

Turkcell, a leading local mobile phone operator, filed a suit late last month at the Washington Federal Court against South Africa’s largest mobile operator, MTN, for damages up to $4.2 billion, regarding an operating license in Iran.

Turkcell accuses MTN bribing Iranian and South African officials and mediating in the arms trade between both countries, in order to win the award of a 2004 mobile phone operating license in Iran, daily Hürriyet

reported yesterday. Turkcell also claims that MTN lobbied South Africa to back Iran’s arms purchases.
The dispute between the two operators kicked off after the Iranian government awarded a mobile operating license to MTN, despite the fact that Turkcell was the winning bidder.

“In light of the harm caused by MTN’s actions to both Turkcell and to its shareholders, Turkcell today filed a lawsuit against MTN, seeking compensation,” a written statement issued by Turkcell on March 29, according to Reuters.

MTN now gets nearly 10 percent of its annual revenue from Iran, where it has a 45 percent market share. It has dismissed the allegations as having no legal merit.

The case file includes the e-mails of top MTN executives, according to the Hürriyet report. These emails show that MTN mediated in a helicopter sales agreement, illegal under international sanctions against Iran. However, the sales were never finalized, the report added.