MTN withdraws Nigeria lawsuit, pays $250 million toward fine

By Editorial Board - 25 February 2016 at 7:32 pm

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — South African telecommunications giant MTN says it’s withdrawing its lawsuit in Nigeria and making a “good faith” payment of $250 million to the government as negotiations continue over one of the largest fines ever issued in the industry.

Nigeria’s regulatory agency wants MTN to pay $3.9 billion — negotiated down from $5.2 billion — for failing to deactivate 5.2 million unregistered cellphone SIM cards in a country where it’s considered a national security threat as cellphones are used in extremist attacks and kidnappings.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is leading negotiations for MTN.

An MTN statement Wednesday said the $250 million is being paid to help reach “an amicable settlement” and “will be applied toward a settlement, where one is eventually, hopefully arrived at.”

Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Editorial Board

Editorial Board

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