Answer from the international auditing company Grant Thornton to the Communications Commission

13 / November / 2020

Answer from the international auditing company Grant Thornton to the Communications Commission, in a public statement dated October 16, 2020 concerning mandatory access regulation for virtual mobile operators (MVNOs) in Georgia

Statement of MagtiCom

The Communications Commission has completely ignored the conclusion submitted by MagtiCom, which was prepared by the six companies that are in the list of the Top 10 best audit companies in the world (from those six companies two are members of the "Big Four"). The report addresses the issue of regulating the mandatory access of Virtual Mobile Operators (MVNOs) in Georgia, in particular, the audit, analysis and conclusion of the experts of these companies that the mandatory access of the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) will have unequivocally negative consequences for Georgia.

MagtiCom expected that the Commission would properly study the above documents and take actions that would not jeopardize state security and would not be detrimental to the further development of both the country and the mobile telecommunications sector.

As the Commission has moved to discuss this issue in public, furthermore doing it by producing unethical and unqualified statements, we are forced to provide additional information to the public. This time (after Deloitte; BDO LLC and Kalba International, Inc.; KPMG; RSM and Nexia TA answers) we present the response of the auditing company Grant Thornton to the statement of the Communications Commission of October 16, 2020, which once again clearly and unequivocally confirms the inaccuracy of the position of the Communications Commission.

Grant Thornton answer to GNCC statement

This document reacts on the document titled “Response to the Policy Report and Expert Opinion Prepared by Consulting Companies for Magticom Ltd” (hereinafter “the Response”) issued by the Communications Commission (hereinafter “the Commission” or “GNCC”).

The aim of this document is not to address all GNCC comments delivered in the Response or to evaluate the benefits or risks of the entry of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (hereinafter “MVNOs”) on Georgian market as it was partially done in previous document.

The objective of this analysis is to concentrate on main issues raised by policy report and expert opinions which are the most relevant for the evaluation of the fact, if the GNCC’s resolution No. 20-9/156 on Wholesale Mobile Network Service Market concerning the results of the study and analysis of competition in the relevant segment of wholesale mobile network service market dated 31 December 2019 (the “Wholesale Resolution” or “MVNO regulation”) was prepared in line with the relevant national legislation and EU regulatory framework and common practice related to the ex-ante regulation of electronic communications.

This document summarises - based on the analysis of the Wholesale Resolution and the Response - main points where GNCC failed in justification of the above mentioned Wholesale Resolution and also shows that the Wholesale Resolution in the form as was prepared breaches the national legislation and relevant parts of EU regulatory framework and the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia.

Please see full answer here.