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Turkcell withdraws U.S. lawsuit against MTN Group

Turkcell Chief Executive Sureyya Ciliv speaks during a news conference in Istanbul May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
Turkcell Chief Executive Sureyya Ciliv speaks during a news conference in Istanbul May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Turkish telecom company Turkcell dropped its multibillion-dollar U.S. lawsuit against rival African mobile phone group MTN Group, citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that hurt its case.

Turkey's largest cell phone operator filed a $4.2 billion lawsuit in Washington last year alleging the Johannesburg-based company used bribery to win a mobile license in Iran that was first awarded to Turkcell.

But the court delayed the case in October pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Alien Tort Statute, the U.S. human rights law on which Turkcell's suit is based.

In April, the high court limited the ability of foreign plaintiffs to invoke the 200-year old law without a strong U.S. connection to the conduct.

In a Wednesday filing, lawyers for Turkcell asked to dismiss the case in light of the Supreme Court ruling.

(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by Carol Bishopric)

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