The Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) has given prior approval to a potential acquisition of Caucasus Online by fixed-wireless and mobile operator MagtiCom. In a notice on its website, the regulator stated that it has examined the possible impact that a purchase of Caucasus Online’s operating assets by MagtiCom would have on the relevant market segments, and has determined that the transaction would have no negative effect on existing competition in the mobile, IPTV, VoIP and retail internet sectors.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Caucasus Online was established in 2006 through the merger of ISPs Caucasus Network, SaNet and Georgia Online, and the combined entity went on to acquire fixed-wireless operator Telenet in July 2008. Caucasus Online is the owner of the 1,200km Caucasus Cable System, which stretches across the Black Sea between Georgia and Bulgaria, providing direct access to Western Europe.
In a further development, the GNCC has noted that on 13 November Caucasus Online and another mobile operator, Mobitel (Beeline), submitted a joint application for prior consent of a potential takeover deal. The application states that Caucasus Online plans to divide its business into two parts, in order to transfer the retail services segment (IPTV, VoIP and internet) to Mobitel, while continuing to strengthen the operation of its wholesale segment (network infrastructure). The GNCC said it will ‘launch public administrative proceedings in the nearest future based on the joint application of Mobitel and Caucasus Online’.