MTN hires ex-U.S attorney general to challenge $3.9b fine

MTN hires ex-U.S attorney general to challenge $3.9b fine

Yvonne Williams

MTN Group has hired a former United States Attorney –General, Eric Holder, to help challenge a $3.9 billion fine imposed by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to disconnect unregistered users.

Citing people familiar with the situation, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Holder pleaded with Nigerian officials last month on behalf of MTN.

Africa’s largest mobile phone company was handed a $5.2 billion penalty in October, prompting weeks of lobbying that led to a 25 percent reduction to $3.9 billion, Reuters reported.

MTN, however, was still not prepared to pay the fine and launched a court challenge in December, saying the NCC had no legal grounds to order the penalty.

A judge in Lagos had last month given MTN until March 18 to reach a settlement on the fine, which equates to more than twice MTN’s annual average capital spending over the past five years.

MTN spokesman, Chris Maroleng, was not immediately available to comment on latest development, Reuters added.


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