South African mobile service provider MTN Group has noted a United States federal court ruling that puts on hold a lawsuit by Turkcell against MTN alleging bribery, pending a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on jurisdiction.
Earlier this year, Turkcell laid charges against MTN, accusing the South African mobile service provider of improper conduct and bribery regarding the acquisition of a mobile licence in Iran.
MTN has denied any wrong-doing, but Turkcell has pushed ahead with legal action in a US court.
MTN had asked Judge Walton of the Washington district court to either dismiss the Turkcell case, or put it on hold until the Supreme Court renders its decision.
Using an earlier case known as the Kiobel case, the judge will have to decide whether Turkcell’s case against MTN can be heard in a US court when neither is a US company, and the alleged conduct occured on foreign territory.
Legal experts predict that the Supreme Court will use the Kiobel case to restrict restrict the claim.
MTN continues to believe that there is no legal merit to Turkcell’s claim and no basis for such a claim to be brought before a US court. MTN expects the Turkcell claim to be disposed of after the Supreme Court issues its decision on the basis of Kiobel. That is expected to happen at the end of June 2013.
MTN will accordingly continue to oppose the claim.
Staff writer/Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor