The Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) said on December 17 that three TV companies had submitted papers proving station ownership, as is required by the law on broadcasting.
Mze TV and Rustavi 2 TV, according to documents submitted, are owed by Georgian Industrial Group (GIG) and GeoMedia Group.
GIG, which owns a 45% share of both stations, is a giant company with diversified business interests ranging from coal mining and energy to travel. Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili’s brother, lawmaker Davit Bezhuashvili, is a founding member of the group.
The remaining shares in both Rustavi 2 TV and Mze TV are owned by GeoMedia Group. The only information available on the company is that it is registered in the Marshal Islands.
Imedi TV, according to its papers, is wholly owned by I-Media, which has given power of attorney over 100% of its Imedi shares to News Corp. Europe. The Imedi papers also indicate that the television station’s board chairman is Badri Patarkatsishvili. Patarkatsishvili also owns shares in RTVi, an international Russian-language television network.
Giorgi Arveladze, the GNCC head, said that the three stations had to submit only information on ownership. Greater detail was beyond the GNCC’s remit, he said.