S.Africa's MTN asks court to throw out Turkcell suit

Reuters, Tuesday 3 Jul 2012

African mobile operator says rival's legal case has no merit

African mobile operator MTN asked a U.S. court on Tuesday to dismiss a $4.2 billion suit brought by rival Turkcell after alleged underhand tactics to obtain an Iranian mobile license.

MTN said the suit by Istanbul-based Turkcell had no legal merit and that the US court did not have jurisdiction.
 
"MTN and MTN International both lack sufficient contact with the United States to be subject to the jurisdiction of the US court," it said in a statement. "MTN therefore remains confident that the claim will be dismissed."
 
Africa's largest mobile operator said Turkcell was expected to respond to its motion to dismiss on 1 August and it would then give a response by 15 August.
 
The court's decision was expected later this year, MTN said.
 
Turkcell says MTN bribed both South African and Iranian officials and asked South Africa to provide weapons to Iran to acquire the permit.
 
Turkey's largest mobile operator initially won a bid for the license in 2004. Tehran later backed out of the deal and awarded the business to MTN in 2005.
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