Turkcell withdraws US lawsuit against MTN
WASHINGTON - Reuters
Turkcell has dropped its $4.2 billion lawsuit against South African MTN, which was filed due to bribery allegations.Turkish telecom company Turkcell has dropped its multibillion-dollar U.S. lawsuit against rival African mobile phone group MTN Group, citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that hurt its case.
Turkey’s largest cell phone operator filed a $4.2 billion lawsuit in Washington last year alleging the Johannesburg-based company used bribery to win a mobile license in Iran that was first awarded to Turkcell.
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. It also claims that MTN lobbied South Africa to back Iran’s arms purchases.
But the court delayed the case in October pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Alien Tort Statute, the U.S. human rights law on which Turkcell’s suit is based.
In April, the high court limited the ability of foreign plaintiffs to invoke the 200-year old law without a strong U.S. connection to the conduct.
In a May 1 filing, lawyers for Turkcell asked to dismiss the case in light of the Supreme Court ruling.