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HomeBusinessMultichoice Which Owns DStv, GOtv Fined Ksh 13 Million for Hiking Packages...

Multichoice Which Owns DStv, GOtv Fined Ksh 13 Million for Hiking Packages Prices

A tribunal in Nigeria has fined pay-TV service provider, Multichoice, N150 million, approximately KSh 13 million, for frequent unlawful hiking of package prices for Gotv and Dstv.

According to Arise News, the ruling has also ordered Multichoice Nigeria to offer its subscribers a one-month free subscription on the packages they are currently on.

The ruling was made after the company failed to adhere to an order by the tribunal to hold off from raising subscription fees without proper notice.

This was following a lawsuit filed by an Abuja-based lawyer who said the eight-day notice given for the price increase was inadequate.

However, in a statement, MultiChoice disagreed with the ruling and vowed to file an appeal against it. In a statement, the company said;

“MultiChoice Nigeria is aware of the recent ruling by the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal regarding its jurisdiction to entertain a price regulation matter

“We disagree with the ruling, and will therefore file an appeal against the said ruling. As the matter is currently sub-judice, we are restrained from making further comments.”

On April 24, Multichoice Nigeria announced a 25% increase in the subscription costs for its DStv and GOtv packages.

This marked the second time in six months that Multichoice Nigeria was raising subscription prices, with the previous increase being at least 19%, with no relative improvement in programming.

The company was barred from implementing the new tariffs following a petition that was filed by consumer bodies calling out the media firm for exploiting consumers.

Further, Multichoice Nigeria has been warned against frequent upward price revisions in a bid to control multi-nationals operating in the West African country and take advantage of their monopolistic nature.

In February, MultiChoice Nigeria reached a settlement with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and agreed to pay a total tax amount of about $37.3 million.

The group said the tax amount to be paid by MultiChoice Nigeria and MultiChoice Africa Holdings will be offset against the security deposits and good faith payments made to date.

FIRS froze MultiChoice Nigeria’s accounts in 2022 and served Notices of Assessment and Demand Notices on MultiChoice Group with a $1.27 billion tax claim for its Nigeria operation and a $342 million claim for value-added taxes.

MultiChoice went to court to challenge the penalty imposed by the tax authority, which said the owner of the DSTV service skipped taxes and denied auditors access to its servers.

However, both parties settled for an amicable resolution of their issues and agreed to an out-of-court settlement of their pending tax disputes.

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