The Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal has fined the prominent Pay-TV operator, Multichoice Nigeria, owners of DSTV and GOTV, ₦150 million for disputing the court’s jurisdiction. In addition, the Tribunal has mandated that the company provide a one-month free subscription to all its Nigerian subscribers.

A three-man panel led by Thomas Okusu delivered the verdict on Friday. The Tribunal’s ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by Barrister Festus Onifade, who argued that Multichoice’s eight-day notice for a subscription fee increase was inadequate. Onifade’s suit accused DSTV of unjustly increasing subscription fees without giving customers the required one-month notice.

The Tribunal had previously intervened to prevent Multichoice from raising subscription fees without proper notice. Counsel for Multichoice argued that prior rulings had resolved the issue of price regulation. However, Onifade’s focus on the notice period rather than the price hike led the Tribunal to affirm its jurisdiction and rule against Multichoice.

In its decision, the Tribunal emphasized the importance of proper notice for price changes, reinforcing consumer protection standards. The Tribunal’s order for a one-month free subscription aims to provide relief to subscribers affected by the inadequate notice period.

The court has scheduled a hearing for the plaintiff’s substantive suit on July 3, where further arguments and evidence will be presented.