N150m fine: Multichoice kicks against Tribunal decision, moves to appeal ruling

Multichoice Nigeria said it would appeal Friday’s ruling of the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal, CCPT, which slammed a N150 million fine on it for challenging the court’s jurisdiction.

Justice Thomas Okosu, who chaired a three-man panel, had also ordered Multichoice to provide a one-month free subscription on its DStv and GOtv platforms.

A lawyer, Festus Onifade, sued Multichoice after it announced an increase in subscription rates on its DStv and GOtv packages starting May 1, 2024.

The tribunal had restrained Multichoice from implementing the price increase pending the hearing of the motion.

Similarly, FCCPC accused Pay TV of unjustly increasing subscription fees without one-month notice to customers and leveraging this to seek interim orders against Pay TV.

But Multichoice challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal, also arguing that the power to regulate prices is vested in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

However, the three-man panel chaired by Justice Thomas Okosu, on Friday that Section 39(2) of the FCCPC Act asserts that the tribunal shall have jurisdiction throughout the federation and on all commercial activities aimed at making a profit.

“The jurisdiction of this tribunal extends to all business activities within Nigeria,” Justice Okosu held.

Reacting to the ruling, Multichoice Nigeria said it disagreed with the ruling and would file an appeal against it.

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

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

“As the matter is currently subjudiced, we are restrained from making further comments.”

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