MTN Group Limited (MTN) filed a motion to dismiss the case filed against it by the Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell Iletisim AS (Turkcell) in a US federal court.
Turkcell’s claim against MTN in the US is the latest of four legal claims Turkcell has launched (the two which have been decided so far both being unsuccessful) after it failed to secure the second GSM licence in Iran in 2005.
As stated in MTNs motion to dismiss, MTN contends that Turkcell’s US claim is a legally insufficient restatement of a case that Turkcell has already tried and lost.
MTN’s motion seeks the dismissal of Turkcell’s US claim on the grounds that there is no proper basis for such a claim to be brought for three principal reasons.
First, the US court does not have jurisdiction over the subject matter of Turkcells claim, because Turkcell has not alleged a violation of the law of nations as required under US law for the sort of claim Turkcell is seeking to bring in the US.
Secondly, because Turkcell’s arbitration against its former Iranian joint venture partner was recently dismissed by a Paris-based arbitral tribunal, Turkcell’s US claim should be dismissed as already having been decided against Turkcell. The award precludes the claim now brought by Turkcell against MTN in the US courts for the alleged loss of the licence.
Thirdly, 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 MTNs motion to dismiss by 1 August 2012 and MTN will reply to the Turkcell response by 15 August 2012. The courts decision is expected later this year.
As previously stated and for the reasons set out in the motion to dismiss, MTN believes that there is no legal merit to Turkcells 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.