Italian govt ordered to pay Telecom Italia €1bn after 15-year battle 


The dispute dates back to the liberalisation of the Italian telecoms sector nearly 25 years ago 

The Italian government had been ordered to pay Telecom Italia (TIM) €1 billion, after the Rome Court of Appeal ruled in favour of TIM regarding a historic license fee dispute.

The Italian telecoms sector was liberalised in 1997 and, the following year, TIM was forced to pay a license fee of around €500 million. Since 2009, TIM has been attempting to recover this fee, plus revaluation and accrued interest, arguing that they should not have been charged the fee following the market liberalisation process. 

According to a press release issued by TIM, the Court of Justice of the European Union has become involved in the dispute multiple times over the past on and a half decades. 

“In particular, in 2020, the European judiciary ruled that the EU regulatory system did not permit a national regulation to extend for the year 1998 the obligation imposed on a telecommunications company, previously a concessionaire (such as TIM), to pay a license fee calculated on the basis of its revenues,” said the company statement.  

According to the court, the ruling is enforceable immediately and TIM will imminently begin proceedings to recover the money. The Italian government, on the other hand, have confirmed in a statement that it will be appealing against the ruling and asking the court to suspend its decision until the appeal is heard. 

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