BREAKING: Court Orders MultiChoice to Provide Free Month of DSTV, GOTV Subscription To Customers 


BREAKING: Court Orders MultiChoice to Provide Free Month of DSTV, GOTV Subscription To Customers 


The Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal has mandated MultiChoice Nigeria to offer one month of free subscription to its DSTV and GOTV customers following a price hike for these services.


Additionally, the tribunal imposed a N150 million fine on MultiChoice Nigeria for challenging the jurisdiction of an Abuja court that recently prohibited the company from increasing its subscription rates. The verdict was delivered on Friday, June 7, by a three-member panel led by Thomas Okosu.


Citing Section 39(2) of the FCCPC Act, the court affirmed that the tribunal has jurisdiction over all commercial activities aimed at profit-making within the federation.


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


The judge reviewed the relevant legal provisions and concluded that consumers seeking to enforce their rights do not need to file a complaint with the President of Nigeria or the Price Control Board. He noted that the claimant had communicated with the FCCPC before filing the case.


“I have determined that this tribunal has the authority to preside over consumer rights issues, as demonstrated in this case, and I rule against MultiChoice,” the judge declared.


The tribunal clarified that the claimant’s lawsuit was not directly challenging the price hike itself but rather the illegality of MultiChoice’s eight-day notice to customers about the increase. The tribunal condemned MultiChoice’s disregard for its interim orders and found its price hike for DSTV and GOTV unacceptable.


As a result, the tribunal dismissed MultiChoice’s preliminary objection for defying its interim orders and imposed an administrative penalty for non-compliance.


“The first defendant is hereby mandated to pay a N150 million penalty. Additionally, MultiChoice is ordered to provide Nigerians with one month of free subscription,” Okosu concluded.


Previously, the tribunal had restrained MultiChoice from raising its subscription rates pending the outcome of a motion filed by Barrister Festus Onifade. Onifade accused MultiChoice Nigeria Ltd. and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) of unjustly increasing subscription fees without giving customers one month’s notice, leveraging this issue to seek interim orders against the company.


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