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Tribunal Fines Multichoice, Orders Free Subscription for DStv and GOtv Customers

Tribunal Fines Multichoice, Orders Free Subscription for DStv and GOtv Customers

The Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT) has fined Multichoice Nigeria, the parent company of DStv and GOtv, N150 million for disobeying a court order to halt a subscription fee increase. The tribunal also mandated that Multichoice offer one month of free subscription to its Nigerian customers on both DStv and GOtv platforms.

This decision follows a lawsuit by Abuja-based lawyer Festus Onifade, who challenged Multichoice’s insufficient eight-day notice before raising its subscription rates. The court had initially ordered Multichoice to maintain its current pricing until the lawsuit’s resolution.

Despite the court’s directive, Multichoice proceeded with the price increase, prompting Onifade to file contempt charges against the company. The charges were specifically directed at Mohammed Sani, Manager of Multichoice Nigeria’s Abuja branch, accusing the company of deliberate non-compliance with the interim order issued on April 29, 2024.

The tribunal’s panel, led by Justice Thomas Okosu, ruled against Multichoice, asserting that the company’s actions negatively impacted consumer rights. Multichoice defended its decision by arguing that previous rulings had settled the issue of price regulation. However, the tribunal affirmed its jurisdiction and imposed the penalties.

The court has scheduled a hearing for the substantive suit on July 3, 2024, to further address the matter and any additional claims presented by Onifade.

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