Communications Commission fines six broadcasters for price-fixing against competition regulations

Communications Commission fined TV Imedi, Mtavari Arkhi, TV Pirveli, POSTV, Formula and Media Holding. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 07 Apr 2023 - 13:20, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Communications Commission of Georgia, the regulatory body responsible for broadcasting and electronic communication, on Friday announced it was fining six broadcasters for striking deals to set fixed prices for their broadcasting with transit companies, setting a precedent of the violation of competition rules for the domestic media industry.

The Commission said it had spent 18 months reviewing a complaint by telecommunications operators Magticom, Silknet, Akhali Kselebi and Georgian Central Communications Corporation, who alleged TV Imedi, Mtavari Arkhi, TV Pirveli, POSTV, Formula and Media Holding had used Media Rights Georgia as their intermediary to negotiate set prices with broadcast transit providers.

The deal went against the spirit of the competition regulation that expects broadcasters to individually negotiate competitive prices, marking the first precedent of such an offence. 

In comments on its response, the regulatory body said the maiden nature of the violation meant it was issuing a symbolic fine of ₾100 ($39.15) to each of the companies. It has also ordered them to void the agreements with the providers within a month.