October 02, 2020 14:46

The Communications Commission has appointed a special manager at Caucasus Online

The Communications Commission has appointed a special manager at Caucasus Online due to the failure of the company to eliminate violation of the law during one year. According to the decision of the Communications Commission, a special manager has been appointed at Caucasus Online until 49% of the illegally alienated shares of the company will be returned to their original state and the requirement of the law will be complied with. The Communications Commission obliged Caucasus Online to observe the law by its decision of October 17, 2019. Despite 6 sanctions within a year, the company did not comply with the law.

By the decision of the Communications Commission, the head of Open Net Ms. Mariam Sulaberidze, who has 14 years of experience in the field of telecommunications, has been appointed as special manager of Caucasus Online. The activities of Mariam Sulaberidze are related to such important issues in the field of telecommunications as approximation to and implementation of international agreements and treaties of the country. Furthermore, she coordinated cooperation in the field of telecommunications between international partners and Georgian government agencies. Prior to becoming the Director of Open Net, Mariam Sulaberidze served as the Head of the International Relations and Project Management Office of the Communications Commission.

From the moment of the appointment of  special manager by the decision of Communications Commission, any decision of the governing bodies of the Caucasus Online, including the Director, the Supervisory Board, the Board of Partners, taken without the prior consent of the Special Manager, will be deemed invalid. The special manager is obliged to conduct a financial and legal analysis (due diligence) of Caucasus Online through an internationally recognized company and submit a report to the Communications Commission, as well as to submit a report on her activities to the Commission upon its request. The special manager is accountable and responsible  solely to the Communications Commission, which in turn is authorized to dismiss the special manager at any time. In case if the law and the decisions of the Commission are implemented and the documents confirming the above are submitted to the Commission, the special measure will be terminated, and the special manager will be dismissed.

By the decision of the Communications Commission, the special manager is entitled to appoint or dismiss the director of Caucasus Online, the members of the supervisory board and employees of the company. The manager is also entitled to sue and challenge the actions taken by Caucasus Online or the transaction concluded during the last year, and demand its annulment if the action caused or causes harm to the legitimate interests of consumers, the economic interests of the country or the competitive market environment.

The special manager is also authorized to suspend or restrict Caucasus Online from profit distribution, issuing dividends and bonuses, and to alter salaries. According to the decision of the Commission, the establishment of a new legal entity and / or branches by the company and exercise of partner powers in subsidiaries is possible only with the prior written consent of the special manager and within the powers granted to her.

Caucasus Online has been operating in the Georgian telecommunications market for a year now under conditions of illegally alienated shares, which already poses a real threat to the competitive environment of the Internet service market in Georgia, as well as to the users of  Internet services in Georgia, specifically in the view of tariff policy. Further, it is important that the illegal transaction may negatively impact  the context of establishing a regional digital hub in Georgia, given that the strategy of service delivery in the telecommunications market may undergo significant changes during the change of beneficiary owners of the authorized person, and may therefore lead to irreversible consequences for the development of telecommunications sector in  the country.

Due to the non-elimination of the violation of law, the Communications Commission was authorized to suspend the authorization of Caucasus Online, but the suspension of the its activities may initially create  problems for more than 2.5 million subscribers in terms of receiving telecommunications services. Suspension of the activities of Caucasus Online will negatively affect the international transit of the Internet and, consequently, the revenues. Further, suspension of activities of the company will also have a negative impact on the competitive environment in the market. In view of the above, the Communications Commission considered the suspension of the authorization unjustified and decided to appoint a special manager to ensure compliance with the law within the company.


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