A Competition and Consumer Protection (CCPC) Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, refused to grant a suit filed against MultiChoice, the operator of DStv and Gotv, over the recent price hike on their products and subscription rate.
The three-member tribunal, headed by Thomas Okosun, in a judgment, held that the power to regulate prices of goods and services does not reside in the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the regulatory agency.
According to the tribunal, the power to regulate prices of goods and services only resides in the president.
The tribunal, which held that the claimants failed to prove that MultiChoice had abused its power of dominance in the market,, said since Nigeria operates a free market economy, the argument lacked merit.
The panel also refused to grant the claimants’ prayer to direct the firm to adopt a pay-as-you-view model of billing for all its products and services.
It, however, ordered FCCPC to investigate if the firm adopts a pay-as-you-view package for its products and services in other countries, especially South Africa, and report back to the court within six months.
The tribunal, in its ruling, also dismissed the claimants’ demand for a N10 million damages.
The panel, therefore, declared that prayers 1, 2 and 3 of the claimants are not grantable as the power to regulate prices of goods and services only resides in the president of Nigeria.
It also said that prayers 4 and 5 of the claimants lacked merit.
The panel, however, ordered the management of MultiChoice to appeared before it on Sept. 8 with their 2021 audited financial statements.