Multichoice Nigeria: FCCPC refuses to challenge DSTV, GOTV price hikes at tribunal

The legal team of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has declined to oppose the preliminary objection of a Pay-TV operator, Multichoice Nigeria, which challenged the jurisdiction of a court sitting in Abuja that recently restrained it from increasing the prices of its DStv and GOtv packages.

Counsel for the FCCPC, Nikiomari Abeke, told the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT) on Thursday that he was not opposing the application of Multichoice Nigeria.

Nairametrics previously reported that the tribunal had restrained MultiChoice from increasing its subscription rates pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice filed by Festus Onifade through his lawyer, Ejiro Awaritoma.

Onifade, who sued Multichoice Nigeria Ltd, had accused the former of unjustly increasing subscription fees without one month’s notice to customers, seeking interim orders against the Pay TV.

A three-member tribunal, chaired by Saratu Shafii, had ruled in favor of Onifade by restraining Multichoice in the interim, in the suit marked CCPT/OP/2/2024.

But Multichoice’s lawyer, M.J. Onibanjo (SAN), filed a preliminary objection urging the court to decline jurisdiction on the suit filed by Festus Onifade because such price dispute case had been decided before in favor of his client.

At the resumed sitting, Onibanjo tendered and adopted the previous judgment of the tribunal in suit no CCPT/OP/1/2022(Exhibit A), alongside his application, saying when a court had determined an issue between the same parties on the same subject matter before, that matter cannot be re-litigated again by any tribunal or court.

On his part, Onifade argued that the issue he placed before the court is whether Multichoice Nigeria gave adequate notice in respect of the May 1, 2024 price TV subscription increase, and not price regulation or increase.

After hearing from the parties, the three-man panel chaired by Justice Thomas Okosu adjourned the suit to June  7 for ruling.

Multichoice announced new price adjustments on DStv and GOtv packages on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.


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