Water Utility Says Government Regulator Has Cost It €50M ({{commentsTotal}})

The capital's water utility Tallinna Vesi warned that the company could seek millions of euros from the state in connection with a long-running dispute over rates.

Director Ian Plenderleith said in 2012 that the claimed violation by the Competition Authority of a privatization deal has cost the company 30 million euros. That figure has now risen to 50 million euros, the company said in a statement on Monday.

The company has submitted applications for price rises: 3.5 percent in 2011, 4.9 percent in 2012, 3.9 percent last year and 3.8 percent this year. "That comes to a cumulative 17.1 percent rise or over 50 million euros in compensation claims against the Estonian government," it said.

Spokesperson Mariliis Mia Topp told uudised.err.ee that she didn't know what would cause the company to actually pursue action. "Such conjectures are speculative," she said, adding that it was up to the shareholders.

The dispute with the Competition Authority began in June 2011 when the utility challenged the regulator's decision denying it a price rise. The authority says Tallinna Vesi's margins are too high.