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Tribunal rejects complaint against Multichoice’s price increase

Tribunal rejects complaint against Multichoice’s price increase

On Tuesday, the Competition and Consumer Protection (CCPC) Tribunal in Abuja rejected a lawsuit that contested Multichoice’s most recent increase in subscription prices for its goods and services. A petition was submitted by Festus Onifade, an attorney, and the Coalition of Nigerian Consumers protesting the increase in Multichoice’s product prices in Nigeria. Additionally, they urged that the pay TV company be forced to follow other nations’ lead and implement a “pay-as-you-view” TV subscription model.

At the tribunal, the petitioners filed a joint lawsuit against the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and MultiChoice, a South African company that runs DSTV and GOTV in Nigeria. The FCCPC, the regulatory body, does not have the authority to control the prices of products and services, according to a three-member panel of the tribunal chaired by Thomas Okosun that rendered its decision in the case on Tuesday. The panel unanimously decided that the president has the authority to control the cost of goods and services.

It concluded that “the price rise is legitimate,” noting that “the ability to regulate or fix the prices of products and services rests with the president, not with the.” Only the president has the authority to control or set the pricing of products and services under specific conditions, which are not present in this case, the court ruled. The applicants failed to demonstrate how the tariff increase caused them to experience “psychological distress, hardship, or a breach of their human rights,” the tribunal continued.

Additionally, Mr. Okosun pointed out that MultiChoice is not responsible for the FCCPC’s failure to uphold its legal obligation to decide on complaints from wronged customers.

The panel also turned down Mr. Onifade’s request that MultiChoice be ordered to switch to a pay-per-view method of billing for all of its goods and services. The claimants’ demand for N10 million in damages was also rejected.

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Despite dismissing the lawsuit, the tribunal had earlier mandated FCCPC to look into the claimants’ assertions that South Africa was home to a “pay-as-you-view” subscription scheme. According to the ruling, the consumer protection commission took the proper steps to look into the issues brought up in the claimants’ lawsuit.

Additionally, the panel commanded MultiChoice’s management to present an audited financial report for 2021 to it on September 8.

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