MultiChoice Nigeria set to challenge N150m fine, free subscription

The Tribunal had stopped Multichoice from increasing its subscription tariffs and cost of products and services scheduled to begin on May 1.

Multichoice nigeria set to challenge n150m fine, free subscriptionMultiChoice Nigeria is set to challenge Friday’s ruling of the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal in Abuja, which awarded a N150 million fine against it for challenging the court’s jurisdiction as it prepares for an appeal.

BRANDPOWER reports that the tribunal had fined MultiChoice Nigeria the sum of N150 million for disobeying its order.

The order had restrained the pay-TV company from increasing its monthly subscription pending the determination of the suit brought before it by an Abuja-based lawyer, Festus Onifade.

The tribunal also ordered the pay-TV company to provide its Nigerian customers with a one-month free subscription to its DStv and GOtv packages.

In a statement on Saturday, MultiChoice reacted as it said that it disagreed with the N150 million fine and free subscriptions ruling and would file an appeal against it.

The statement read in part: “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.”
Reactions from Nigerians
Some Nigerians on social media have have been reacting to following the decision of the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal to fine Multichoice Nigeria, owners of popular Pay-TV services , DSTV and GOTV, the sum of ₦150 million.

Before the N150 million fine ruling, Multichoice Nigeria hiked the subscription rates for its DStv and GOtv packages despite the orders of the tribunal.

The Tribunal had stopped Multichoice from increasing its subscription tariffs and cost of products and services scheduled to begin on May 1.

The tribunal’s ruling has sparked debate online with opinions sharply divided.

@TolaOlaosebikan, on X, formerly Twitter, wrote that the ruling should be appealed.

“Multichoice has always been on the receiving side of court rulings in Nigeria. Is it because it is a foreign firm?

“Subscribers have the right to boycott their services if they are perceived to be too expensive, and go for competitors.

“Our court rulings should not be draconian in nature but fair and just. Multichoice is a business entity for goodness’ sake.

“Who bears the operational expenses for the one month? Taxes, third-party subscriptions, rentals, salaries.”

Also, @Osi_Suave said, “I think Multichoice should exit this market because I don’t understand why a private business that doesn’t provide an essential service is constantly hounded like this.

“When they leave, maybe ‘una eye go clear’,” he said.

@NwabuwaChidume, wrote, “Multichoice and arbitrary subscription charges didn’t just start today. The corruption in the system is responsible for these extortions.

“The vulnerability of the common masses to some of these economic vampires is scary. Believe me, today’s fine won’t stop the increment.”

On the contrary, Mathew Dubem on Facebook said, “Finally, justice for the consumers! “Multichoice has been exploiting Nigerians for too long with their exorbitant subscription fees.

“This fine and the free subscription are a welcome relief, I think I will have to go get back my Gotv decoder to enjoy the one month free subscription.”

Another Facebook user, Adegoke Ademole commended the Tribunal for standing up for consumer rights.

“This ruling sets a precedent and will hopefully lead to more accountability from service providers in Nigeria.

“This is a win for all DSTV and GOTV users. It’s high time these big corporations understood that they can’t just bully their way around. Kudos to the tribunal,” he said.

Efforts to reach out to Multichoice for a comment proved abortive as the PR manager, stated that the company has yet to issue an official statement regarding the tribunal’s ruling.