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October 24, 2006 at 1:15 PM

T-Mobile USA in Polish scandal

T-Mobile USA did not only gain the spotlight today because of its new voice over Wi-Fi service.

It was also abruptly tied to a lawsuit filed by Vivendi, which charges that Deutsche Telekom conspired with a Polish man named Zygmunt Solorz-Zak to engage in racketeering activity and other fraudulent conduct, including U.S. wire fraud.

Vivendi charges that this misconduct allowed Deutsche Telekom, which is parent of Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA, to allegedly takeover Vivendi’s $2.5 billion investment in the Polish telephone company Polsk Telefonia Cyfrowa.

A Wall Street Journal story today explains the connection between T-Mobile USA and Vivendi.

The paper reported that Vivendi has hired Lanny Davis, a former White House special counsel, to argue that the case deserves to be in U.S. courts because Deutsche Telekom has both a stock listing in the U.S. and significant U.S. business: T-Mobile USA.

Therefore, the reasoning goes, Vivendi should be able to use the U.S. RICO law, designed to nab gangsters, on a situation that occurred outside the U.S.

Should the case be allowed to proceed, the WSJ wrote, Vivendi would gain subpoena and discovery powers that would give it access to internal documents of Deutsche Telekom and Solorz-Zak.

You can read the complaint here.

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