Gloves off in Motorola .vs. Telsim spat

30 May 2003

Relations between US equipment supplier Motorola and Turkish telecommunications group Telsim deteriorated further yesterday when the US firm hit back at accusations that its owners had made ‘false allegations and misrepresent[ed] the facts of their fraudulent behaviour’. In the most public of disputes, Telsim placed a series of adverts in US newspapers accusing Motorola of failing to disclose its vendor financing exposure to shareholders. The two companies became embroiled in a legal argument after the Turkish company defaulted on USD2 billion of loans received in the late 1990s. However, Motorola has hit back claiming that the adverts are just the latest attempt to muddy the waters to hide the fact that the Uzan family, which controls the Turkish operator, has stolen the money. A spokesman for Motorola brushed aside the charges adding that ‘their veiled threats are simply an effort to cover their fraudulent and unethical behaviour and have become increasingly outrageous and unacceptable’.