MTN asks US court to overturn Turkcell claim

MTN claims that US court lacks jurisdiction over the case
MTN, Turkcell

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South African operator MTN Group has filed a motion to dismiss a case filed against it by Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell in a US federal court.

Turkcell's claim against MTN in the US is the latest of four legal claims Turkcell has launched after it failed to secure the second GSM licence in Iran in 2005. The two claims which have been decided so far were unsuccessful.

MTN told the US court that Turkcell's US claim is a legally insufficient restatement of a case that Turkcell has already tried and lost.

MTN said that its motion seeks the dismissal of Turkcell’s US claim on the grounds that there is “no proper basis” for such a claim.

MTN pointed that the US court does not have jurisdiction over the subject matter of Turkcell’s claim. It added that Turkcell's arbitration against its former Iranian joint venture partner was recently dismissed by a Paris-based arbitral tribunal. Furthermore, the US court lacks personal jurisdiction over MTN and its subsidiary, MTN International (Mauritius) Ltd (MTN International), which is also named in the US action. MTN and MTN International both lack sufficient contact with the United States to be subject to the jurisdiction of the US court.

Turkcell is to respond to MTN’s motion to dismiss the case by August 1, 2012 and MTN will reply to the Turkcell response by August 15, 2012. The court’s decision is expected later this year.

“MTN believes that there is no legal merit to Turkcell’s US claim and no basis for such a claim to be brought in the US court, and MTN therefore remains confident that the claim will be dismissed,” the telco said in a statement.

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