Telecoms equipment manufacturers Motorola and Nokia are filing a US federal lawsuit against Turkey’s Telsim. The suit is seeking at least $3 billion from the Uzan family, owners of the wireless phone company.
The lawsuit includes 13 charges of wrongdoing, including extortion and conspiracy to defraud Motorola and Nokia. There is also a charge for criminal racketeering, alleging that the Uzan family did not intend to repay loans and that they diverted funds and assets to other family companies.
Motorola is seeking $2 billion, and Nokia more than $700 million, in compensation for loans provided for the purchase of their mobile network equipment. The charges invoke the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, under which damages can be trebled for racketeering.
The suit was filed in New York City, since the Uzans are registered as residents of the city and have US assets. Even by Turkey’s standards, the Uzan family have a controversial business record, including running foul of Turkey’s market regulator.