Egypt’s Orascom Telecom on Thursday confirmed that Algerian tax authorities had rejected an appeal filed by its Algerian unit Djezzy.
The firm, the Arab world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, said it had now exhausted the appeal process with the tax authorities and intended to challenge the rejection in Algeria’s administrative courts.
Algeria’s tax authorities on Wednesday rejected an appeal lodged by OT’s Djezzy unit against a claim for back taxes and penalties, an Algerian official said on Wednesday.
"We have rejected Orascom Telecom’s appeal," the official, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters.
Relations between Algeria and Egypt have been strained after violence erupted following a football World Cup qualifying match between the two Arab countries last November.
Orascom is in a tax dispute with Algeria’s government after authorities rejected an initial appeal against claims that Djezzy owned back taxes and penalties from 2004 and 2007.
Orascom paid $120 million in December in order to file an appeal against a $597 million tax bill which Algeria says Djezzy owes for 2005-2007. Djezzy’s spokesman was not immediately available for comment.