The High Court of South Africa has dismissed a $4.2 billion lawsuit against MTN brought by Turkish operator Turkcell.

The lawsuit, which was launched in 2013, accused MTN of bribing government officials to secure a contract in Iran. The court ruled in favour of MTN, dismissing the claim with costs.

MTN was accused of “corrupt acts” by the Turkish operator, including gifts given to government officials from Iran and South Africa and promises of bribes in order to secure the operator contract.

In November 2013, Turkcell and its subsidiary, East Asian Consortium, filed a lawsuit against MTN, alleging improper conduct in relation to a network operator contract in Iran.

Turkcell claimed that it was set to lose the contract as a result of bribery and corruption by MTN, and sought $4.2 billion in damages. The case was ultimately dismissed by the High Court of South Africa.

According to MTN, “In a judgement handed down by the High Court of South Africa on 30 November 2022, EAC’s action against MTN has been dismissed with costs, putting an end to the Turkcell litigation. MTN is delighted at the outcome as it has consistently maintained that the Turkcell litigation was without merit. MTN had no provisions or contingent liabilities with regard to the Turkcell litigation.”

Turkcell is directly and indirectly owned by TWF, the wealth fund of the Republic of Turkey (26.2% of shares) and LetterOne Holdings (19,8% of shares), the investment firm co-founded by Russian investors including Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan.