Nigerian Regulators Order Multichoice to Provide Free Month of Service After Price Hike Dispute


Nigeria’s Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal has ordered pay-TV provider Multichoice to give Nigerian subscribers a free one-month subscription on its DStv and GOtv services, after fining the company 150 million Naira (about $366,000 USD).

The tribunal ruled that Multichoice violated consumer protection laws by only providing 8 days’ notice before implementing a price increase, rather than the required one-month notice period.

Consumer advocate Festus Onifade had sued Multichoice and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission over the insufficient notice. Multichoice had argued that price regulation disputes had been settled previously in its favor.

However, the tribunal asserted its authority to preside over consumer rights issues, rejecting Multichoice’s objection. The tribunal found that the case was about the inadequate notice period, not the price increase itself.

In addition to the free month of service, the tribunal imposed a 150 million Naira fine on Multichoice for disobeying the tribunal’s earlier interim order restraining the price hike. But the story notes that Multichoice had already implemented the price increases on its DStv and GOtv packages, despite the tribunal’s rulings.

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