BREAKING: Court orders Multichoice to give DSTV, GOTV customers one-month free subscription

The Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal has ordered MultiChoice Nigeria to provide one-month free subscription for increasing the prices of its DSTV and GoTV products.

The court also slammed a N150 million fine on Multichoice Nigeria for challenging the jurisdiction of a court sitting in Abuja that recently restrained it from increasing the prices of its DStv and GOtv packages. 

The three-member panel led by Thomas Okosu delivered  verdict on Friday on Friday, June 7.

The court held that Section 39(2) of the FCCPC Act states that the tribunal shall have jurisdiction throughout the federation and on all commercial activities aimed at making a profit. 

“The jurisdiction of this tribunal extends to all business activities within Nigeria,” Okosu said. 

The judge said he looked at relevant provisions cited by parties and did not find where an aggrieved consumer who seeks to enforce his rights is required to file a complaint to the President of Nigeria or the Price Control Board. 

The judge also observed that the claimant wrote letters to the FCCPC before filing his case. 

“I have come to the conclusion that this tribunal has the jurisdiction to preside over consumer rights as in the instant case and I resolve this issue against Multichoice,” the judge said. 

Besides, the tribunal held that the claimant’s instant suit is not questioning the Multichoice price hike as claimed by Onibanjo but the illegality of his client’s8-days notice to the customers. 

The tribunal noted that Multichoice has already disobeyed its interim orders, adding that its action of hiking DSTV and GOTV prices is condemnable and must not be condoned by the Tribunal. 

The tribunal dismissed Multichoice’s preliminary objection for disobeying its interim orders. 

Subsequently, the tribunal imposed an administrative penalty on Multichoice for failing to comply with an order of the tribunal  

“The first defendant is hereby mandated to pay N150 million penalty. 

“Multichoice is hereby ordered to give Nigerians one month free subscription,” Okosu added.

Recall that the tribunal had restrained MultiChoice from increasing its subscription rates pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice filed by Barrister Festus Onifade.

Onifade, who sued Multi-Choice Nigeria Ltd, and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission  (FCCPC), accused PayTV of unjustly increasing subscription fees without one-month notice to customers and leveraging on it to seek interim orders against the organization.

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One Comment

  1. Am the one who is totally disappointed with dstv.prices were increased every now and then I do support the penalty

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