Vivendi files corruption complaint against T-Mobile

Vivendi SA said Tuesday it filed a complaint against T-Mobile in the U.S., claiming the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary illegally appropriated its US$2.5 billion investment in one of Poland's leading mobile telecommunications operators.

The suit, which claims T-Mobile appropriated Vivendi's investment in Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa through fraud and racketeering, was filed Monday in the state of Washington under the federal law known as RICO that was originally designed to fight organized crime.

Vivendi and Deutsche Telekom have been battling over the ownership of PTC for seven years, filing several lawsuits in Austria and Poland.

The latest suit names T-Mobile USA Inc., T-Mobile Deutschland Gmbh, Deutsche Telekom AG and Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, the largest shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of the Polish company Elektrim SA.

Elektrim is Vivendi's joint-venture partner for its investment in the Polish company.

"Vivendi considers that T-Mobile and Mr. Solorz' Elektrim illegally appropriated its US$2.5 billion investment in PTC and, at every turn, have defied court orders," Vivendi Chairman Jean-Bernard Levy said in a statement. "Vivendi asks the court for a simple remedy: Give us back our money or our PTC shares."

Elektrim spokeswoman Ewa Bojar declined to comment on the court filing, reports AP.

"We aren't going to comment on something we know nothing about," she said in Warsaw. "We know about this from press reports so far, so I have to decline to comment right now."

Deutsche Telekom and Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.