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Court orders MultiChoice to pay N150m, give free subscription to Nigerians

By Jane Mukoro

This is not the best of time for the MultiChoice Nigeria Limited.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT), sitting in Abuja, on Friday, June 7, awarded a fine of N150 million against MultiChoice Nigeria Limited for disrespecting its jurisdiction by flouting its order.

A three-man panel led by Thomas Okusu gave the verdict.

The tribunal had previously blocked Multichoice from raising subscription fees without proper notice, based on a lawsuit by Barrister Festus Onifade who claimed the eight-day notice given for the price increase was inadequate.

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Onifade had sued DSTV, accusing the Pay-TV of unjustly increasing subscription fees without one month’s notice to customers and leveraging on it to seek interim orders.

However, the tribunal, in a unanimous decision by its three-member panel, equally ordered MultiChoice to provide Nigerians with a one-month free subscription on its DSTV and GOTV services. The tribunal subsequently fixed July 3 to hear the substantive action that was instituted against the company.

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