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Uzan family’s fine to Motorola is upheld

The US Court of Appeals has upheld a previous decision to make the Uzan family from Turkey pay in excess of $1 billion to Motorola, the largest US mobile phone manufacturer.

The family, who previously owned Turkish wireless carrier Telsim Mobil Telekomunikasyon Hizmetleri AS, claimed that it could not afford the fine. This has been rejected.

The decision stems from a 2002 fraud case between Motorola, Nokia – the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer – and the Uzans. A series of contracts between the three firms led to a $1.5 billion loan from Motorola. Telsim failed to make a repayment and the two mobile phone giants sued.

The US Supreme Court had originally awarded damages of $2.13 billion against the Uzan family but this was cut in half in yet another appeal court in February 2006.

Among the defendants sued by Motorola and Nokia are Kemal Uzan, once Turkey's fourth richest man; Cem Uzan; Murat Uzan; and Melahat Uzan. Telsim was bought last year by Vodafone for $4.55 billion.

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