The Competition and Consumer Protection tribunal sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit challenging the price increase by MultiChoice Nigeria Limited.A three member panel presided by Thomas Okosun who were inaugurated by the minister of trade and investment, and activities kicked off at the tribunal in June 2021.
Mr Onifade and the Coalition of Nigerian Consumers had dragged MultiChoice, the operators of DStv and GOtv platforms, to the tribunal following an announcement by the company in March 2022 that the subscription rates for the various bouquets on its platforms will go up on April 1, 2022.
He had prayed the tribunal for an order restraining the firm from hiking subscription fees for its services and other products on April 1st pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated and filed on March 29th
Delivering judgment, a three-member panel of the tribunal, led by Thomas Okosun dismissed the suit for lacking merit.
The tribunal held that neither federal competition and consumer protection commission nor the tribunal has the power to regulate prices.
Only the president has the powers to regulate or fix prices of goods and services under stipulated circumstances which do not apply in this instance.”
The claimant failed to establish that MultiChoice abused its dominant position in the market and show evidence or establish how they suffered “psychological trauma, hardship or violation of their human rights” as a result of the price hike.
The FCCPC was ordered to expedite its investigation within six months to find out if Multichoice offers Pay as You Go services in other climes with a view to seeing same brought into force in Nigeria.