MTN ‘welcomes’ Turkcell’s move


MTN, Africa’s largest cellular operator, has “welcomed” Turkcell’s decision to drop its $4.2 billion lawsuit against MTN before the US District Court of Columbia over the awarding of Iran’s second mobile licence to MTN in 2005.

MTN opposed Turkcell’s claim, which hinged on allegations of bribery, saying it lacked legal merit and that there was no basis for it to be brought before a US court.

Last week, Turkcell withdrew the claim. This followed last month’s ruling by the US Supreme Court restricting the ability of foreign corporations to bring before US courts cases alleging corporate misconduct that took place outside the United States. Group president and CEO, Sifiso Dabengwa, says: “Turkcell’s decision to drop their claim was expected, however we welcome it.”

After becoming aware of Turkcell’s claims in February last year, the MTN board commissioned Lord Hoffmann to lead a thorough investigation into these allegations. Then in February this year, the committee, led by Hoffmann, determined that Turkcell’s allegations were without foundation, says MTN in a statement.

The committee found nothing around MTN’s conduct “that put at question MTN’s integrity or propriety during the period that Iran’s second mobile licence was awarded,” the operator stressed.

“Now that this case is behind us, we are forging ahead with great determination towards achieving MTN’s newly launched vision to deliver a bold new digital world to our customers,” says Dabengwa.