TRIBUNAL STOPS MULTICHOICE FROM INCREASING SUBSCRIPTION FEES FOR DSTV, GOTV IN NIGERIAria

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The order was given by the 3-member tribunal…

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Pay television giant, Multichoice Nigeria Limited, has been restrained from increasing its tariffs and cost of products and services from April, by a Competition and Consumer Protection (CCP) tribunal sitting in Abuja.

This is coming 8 days after Multichoice Nigeria, owners of DStv and GOtv increased subscription fees for its services across board with effect from April 1.

The order was given by the 3-member tribunal presided over by Thomas Okosun, following an ex-parte motion moved by Festus Onifade,  a legal practitioner, on behalf of himself and the Coalition of Nigeria Consumers.

According to NAN, other members of the tribunal include Sola Salako Ajulo and Ibrahim EL-Yakubu, in the suit marked: CCPT/OP/1/2022, in which Multi-Choice Nigeria Limited and Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) are 1st and 2nd respondents respectively.

The ex-parte motion that was filed by the applicants on March 29 was brought pursuant to Section 39 (1) & (2) of FCCPC Act 2018; Order 26, Rule 5 (2), (3) & 26 Rule 6 (1) & (2) Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 and Section 47(a), (b), (c),(d), of Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018.

The applicants had prayed for “an order of interim injunction restraining the 1st defendants/respondents, either by itself, agents, representatives, officers or privies, howsoever described, from carrying out the impending increase in tariffs and cost of its products and services intended to take effect from 1st April, 2022, until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed before this tribunal.

“An order of the Honourable Tribunal mandating the 1st defendant/respondents to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“And for such further order or other orders as this Honourable Tribunal may deem fit to make in the circumstance.”

The tribunal in its ruling ordered Multi-Choice Nigeria Limited to stop the planned hike in tariffs and cost of its products and services pending the hearing and determination of the motion.

The tribunal ruled, “The 1st defendant/respondent is hereby restrained, either by itself, agents, representatives, officers or privies, howsoever described, from carrying out the impending increase in tariffs and cost of its products and services intended to take effect from 1st April, 2022 until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed before this Honourable Tribunal.

“The 1st defendant/respondent is hereby mandated to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“All parties in this suit are to appear before this Honourable Tribunal on the 11th day of April, 2022.’’

Report had on Tuesday, March 22, reported , that MultiChoice Nigeria, owners of DStv and GOtv, had through a statement, announced an increase in subscription fees across board with effect from April 1, 2022.

Highlights of new rates include;

  • DStv package now cost: Premium (N21,000), Compact + (N14,250), Compact (N9,000), Confam (N5,300), Yanga (N2,950), Padi (N2,150),
  • Business (N2,669), Xtraview + PVR access fee (N2,900)
  • Gotv Max for N4,150, GOtv Jolli for N2,800, GOtv Jinja for N1,900, GOtv Lite for N900.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) subsequently revealed that it is engaging MultiChoice Nigeria for clarity on its recently announced increase of subscription fee across all bouquets for its DStv and GOtv services.

The Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, pointed out that its engagement with the pay-television company is to find out if the company implemented a change in terms and conditions in line with the Commission’s mandated steps.

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