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IT war against Georgia

Friday, October 24
Currently the internet service in Georgia works very badly. A serious confrontation is taking place between the two giant companies Caucasus Online and United Telecom, and their rivalry is sacrificing consumers’ interests and rights.

United Telecom, as state company Electric Union (Elektrokavshiri), was privatized and sold off in 2006. The Government assured the population at that time that its new owner was a Kazakh group attached to the Turan Alem bank. But the group denied this, and it subsequently emerged that the owner was a certain offshore registered company called Black Sea Telecom Holding, which had purchased 100% of the assets for USD 90 mln.

This means that the Georgian Government sold to an unknown offshore company the entire telephone communications infrastructure of Georgia. Today journalists are speculating that Russian capital is behind this offshore company, specifically that it is owned by Russian billionaire and political figure Gleb Fetisov, as Georgian newspaper Versia suggests

So what is the situation now? United Telecom has begun a fierce dispute with Caucasus Online. As a result internet communications have deteriorated. Georgian web pages cannot be read outside the country and a very slow service, bad connection and many other things make the lives and businesses of internet customers very miserable.

Economic analyst Gia Khukhashvili has expressed his concern that many strategically important companies have become Russian-owned. He says that as Russia has bought up so many national assets, its occupation of Georgia did not start in August but long before.