Telecom Italia claimed victory in a long-running dispute with Italy’s government over a licence fee paid in 1998, with the company expecting to receive a €1 billion payment as a result.

In a statement, the operator announced it won a 15-year dispute, with the Rome Court of Appeal finding in its favour.

It added the sum it is set to receive covered the cost of the licence fee of just over €500 million, which it paid a year after the sector was opened-up, along with a revaluation of the sum and accrued interest. The government is also on the hook for various costs.

“The ruling is immediately enforceable, and TIM will immediately start procedures to recover the amount in question,” the operator added.

In a statement on the ruling, the Italian government indicated it would appeal and requested the immediate suspension of the actions outlined by the court.