Management rights of a state-owned firm, Alfa-Com, in charge of TV tower have been sold for a four-year term through an online auction, which was closed late on Monday afternoon, the Economy Ministry said.
The ministry, however, did not immediately reveal identity of a firm or individual which has obtained the management rights for GEL 110,000, saying that details would be announced later.
There was only one participant in the online auction in which the starting price was GEL 100,000; there was only one bid made on July 22 increasing the price to GEL 110,000 and no other new bids have been made since then.
The state-owned company Alfa-Com, formerly the Georgian TeleRadioCenter, manages 274-meter high TV tower in Tbilisi and 35 other smaller towers throughout the country, serving more than 30 radio and 16 TV stations.
One of the terms for taking over the company’s management is to invest at least USD 12 million over next four years. A contract should be signed within a month.
A group of media activists and journalists have been expressing protest over, what they called, non-transparent process of selling management rights of Alfa-Com, suggesting that the move would lead to price hikes for the services providing by the firm, which would result into a serious financial burden for small TV channels.