The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has disclosed that it is engaging pay television company, Multichoice Nigeria, for clarity on its recently announced increase of subscription fee across all bouquets for its DStv and GOtv services.
According to NAN, this was disclosed by the Executive Chairman of FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, during an interview on Wednesday in Abuja.
Irukera pointed out that its engagement with the pay-television company is to find out if the company implemented a change in terms and conditions in line with the Commission’s mandated steps.
He said that the FCCPC’s recent orders were broad and noted that it will be important that compliance is prioritised.
He said, “Although we cannot, and did not regulate price except in limited circumstances requiring presidential approval and gazetting. As such, our order to MultiChoice did not prevent them from pricing their services in a manner acceptable between them and their subscribers.
“We regulate price gouging. The nature of gouging is post-fact, meaning that when a price movement occurs, we can investigate to determine if it is excessive, exploitative, unrestored or manifestly unjust.
“Such is a very intricate investigation and the fact of the existence of any increase is not the entire evidence. There is a method to analyse the increase and other circumstances leading to it.
“As in the case of pharmacies, we are prosecuting for inordinate increases of certain products during early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For now, the first check with MultiChoice is whether they implement, or intend to, a material change in terms and conditions (of which price is one) without the steps the Commission has mandated as conditions precedent.’’
Recall that the FCCPC had earlier ordered MultiChoice Nigeria (MCN), to introduce an additional feature that allows subscribers to maintain the same subscription fee for a minimum period of one year.
The additional features will also allow subscribers to have better value for money proposition for annual prepayment of subscription with the ability to suspend subscription at least once every quarter of the year.
Also in the order, the FCCPC had ordered Multichoice Nigeria to introduce a price lock option that allowed subscribers to maintain the same subscription fee for a minimum period of one year subject to a contractual agreement that clearly specified the applicable terms and conditions.
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