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Tribunal slams N150m fine on Multichoice, orders free DStv, Gotv subscriptions

Justice Thomas Okosu of the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal has slammed a N150 million fine on Multichoice Nigeria. Okosu, who chaired a three-man panel,…

Justice Thomas Okosu of the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal has slammed a N150 million fine on Multichoice Nigeria.

Okosu, who chaired a three-man panel, on Friday, also ordered Multichoice to provide one-month free subscription on its DStv and GOtv platforms.

A lawyer, Festus Onifade, had sued Multichoice after it announced increment of subscription rates on its DStv and GOtv packages from May 1, 2024.

The tribunal had restrained Multichoice from implementing the price increase pending the hearing of the motion.

FCCPC accused Pay TV of unjustly increasing subscription fees without one-month notice to customers and leveraging this to seek interim orders against Pay TV.

But Multichoice challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal, also arguing that the power to regulate prices is vested in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

On Friday, the three-man panel chaired by Justice Thomas Okosu 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 held.

“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.

The Tribunal added that Multichoice had disobeyed its orders, condemning hiking DSTV and GOTV prices.

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