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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Motorola, Nokia Sue For $3Bln

CHICAGO -- Finland's Nokia and Motorola Inc., the world's two largest cellphone makers, filed a joint lawsuit Monday charging the owners of Turkey's No. 2 wireless carrier with fraud under U.S. anti-racketeering laws.

The two handset makers filed the suit, which seeks the recovery of about $3 billion in loans plus damages, in U.S. District Court in New York. It charges that the Uzan family, the owners of Telsim, defrauded the two companies in violation of the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, statute.

The Uzan family could not be reached for comment. The suit was filed against Kemal Uzan, four children including Telsim chairman Hakan Uzan and board member Cem Uzan, three Uzan-controlled firms and an individual close to the family.

"We are taking the unusual step of jointly filing this action because it is clear to both companies that the Uzans had no intention of dealing in good faith with us in an effort to resolve this situation," Motorola's general counsel, Peter Lawson, said in a statement.

"This action is in recognition that this is not a normal commercial dispute between private parties -- it is, rather, a premeditated and unlawful attempt by the Uzans to rob both Motorola and Nokia of our assets," he added.

Bear, Stearns analyst Wojtek Uzdelewicz said the lawsuit was intended to put pressure on the Turkish government and did not mean much to investors as the process will be long and the companies had taken reserves for the loans. He added that Motorola is not likely to get back anything close to $2 billion.

Nokia and Motorola last year hired a U.S.-based investigator, Kroll Associates, to look into the assets of the Uzan family, whose wealth was estimated last year at $1.6 billion. The Uzan family last year ranked fifth in a published list of Turkish billionaires.