Business

MultiChoice Nigeria announces plans to appeal tribunal’s N150 million fine, free subscription

MultiChoice Nigeria has stated its plans to appeal the ruling from the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal in Abuja on Friday.

The tribunal fined MultiChoice Nigeria N150 million for challenging the court’s jurisdiction.

This decision followed the tribunal’s earlier order restraining the pay-TV company from increasing its monthly subscription, pending the resolution of a lawsuit brought by Abuja-based lawyer Festus Onifade.

The tribunal also mandated the pay-TV company to offer a one-month complimentary subscription to its DStv and GOtv packages to its Nigerian customers.

In response, however, MultiChoice issued a statement on Saturday expressing its disagreement with the ruling and confirming its intention to appeal against it.

What Multichoice is Saying

Moreover, MultiChoice said it is aware of the recent ruling by the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal regarding its jurisdiction to entertain a price regulation matter.

The company added that it disagrees with the ruling, and will therefore file an appeal against it.

“MultiChoice Nigeria is aware of the recent ruling by the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal regarding its jurisdiction to entertain a price regulation matter.

“We disagree with the ruling, and will therefore file an appeal against the said ruling.

“As the matter is currently sub-judice, we are restrained from making further comments,” the Pay-TV company noted.

Backstory

Earlier on Friday, Nairametrics reported that the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal fined prominent Pay-TV operator, Multichoice Nigeria, N150 million 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 tribunal also ordered the company to provide Nigerians with a one-month free subscription to its subscribers.

The verdict delivered by three of the panel led by Thomas Okosu on Friday also ordered Multichoice to give Nigerians a one-month free subscription on DSTV and GOTV.

Nairametrics previously reported 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.

The court subsequently fixed July 3 for a hearing of the plaintiff’s substantive suit.

What you should know

On April 24, Multichoice announced that it would increase its price for its DStv and GOtv cable services, beginning from the first of May.

Meanwhile, a competition and consumer protection tribunal (CCPT) in Abuja ruled that the firm should not increase its prices as scheduled for May 1.

A three-member tribunal led by Saratu Shafii gave the interim order following an ex-parte motion moved by Ejiro Awaritoma, counsel to Festus Onifade, the applicant.

Despite the court ruling, the firm proceeded with the tariff increase as earlier proposed.

According to the Acting Chairman of the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Adamu Abdullahi, Multichoice wrote a four-page letter to the commission explaining the reason behind the upward price review.

In the letter, Abdullahi stated that the company identified issues such as foreign exchange crunch, high electricity tariff and cost of running generators as some of the reasons why the rates were reviewed.


Enews Nigeria