Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission (CMC) has ordered mobile operator Korek Telecom to pay US$800 million to resolve an ongoing dispute over outstanding unpaid fees.
The regulator’s CEO Ali Al-Moaed said in a statement that the sum covers “fees of licences and equipment used by the company as well as other dues that have not been paid for years”, and noted that the CMC would take legal action if Korek refused to pay up.
This is another setback for the operator after a March 2023 ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce’s arbitration court. The ruling related to the 2011 acquisition of a 44% holding in Korek by Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility; the stake that was eventually expropriated in 2019 by the CMC amid allegations of fraud and corruption.
While Korek denies the charges, the court ruled against it, placing the operator and its controlling stakeholder Sirwan Barzani on the hook for damages worth US$1.65 billion.