Turkcell Files Suit Against MTN Over Iran Losses

Turkey’s leading telecom operator Turkcell has filed a suit in a U.S. court against South African mobile operator MTN, accusing it of competition law violations in provision of mobile services in Iran, Turkcell said on Thursday.

Turkcell, partly owned by Russia’s Alfa Group investment consortium, won a tender for Iran’s first private GSM license in 2004 but the Turkish company was then barred from concluding its license arrangement, and Iran entered into a license agreement with South Africa-based operator MTN.

“Newly received information by Turkcell indicates that the signing of the license agreement with MTN instead of our company was a consequence of MTN’s actions at that time. 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 for such damages,” Turkcell said in a statement.

The lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia as both companies have extensive business dealings in the U.S.

The Turkish operator also said it tried to settle up dispute during talks with MTN but the South African firm terminated negotiations in March.


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