Court orders Rome to pay Telecom Italia 1 billion euros, govt to appeal

FILE PHOTO: Telecom Italia's new logo for the TIM brand is seen on a building in Rome

MILAN (Reuters) -A Rome court has ruled in favour of Telecom Italia (TIM) in a 15-year dispute over the liberalisation of the telecoms sector, ordering the Italian government to return about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to the group, TIM said on Wednesday.

The government said in a statement that it would appeal to the Supreme Court against the ruling, adding that it would ask that the court decision be suspended until its appeal is heard.

TIM was seeking to recover the licence fee it was required to pay to the state in 1998, the year after the telecoms sector was deregulated.

The amount due is equal to the original licence fee, just over 500 million euros, plus a revaluation and accrued interest for a total of about 1 billion euros, the company said in a statement.

It added that it would "immediately start procedures to recover the amount".

TIM's shares were more than 5% higher after the ruling.

($1 = 0.9236 euros)

(Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by Gavin Jones and Mark Potter)