By Dennis Erezi
The Nigerian Government said it has opened an investigation on the increase in subscription charges for pay-TV in the country on its citizens.
Nigeria’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) chief executive officer Babatunde Irukera in a statement said the investigation was in response to announcements by operators of different Pay-TV platforms in the country.
“Upon credible information, public announcements by operators, and consumer perception analytics, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has opened an investigation into the conduct of dominant Pay-TV service providers,” Irukera said.
Irukera said FCCPC’s action is in pursuant to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) that established the agency.
DStv and GOtv subscribers are groaning after the Multichoice increased prices of bouquet twice in three months. The last increment came into effect on Tuesday.
MultiChoice said the latest review on the implementation of 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) introduced by the Federal Government in early 2020.
With the adjustment, DStv Compact subscribers have their subscription raised by 13.3 per cent (N7, 900 up from N6, 975).
DStv Compact Plus subscribers have their rates increased by 9.8 per cent from N10, 925 to N12, 000. The DStv Premium was increased from N16, 200 to N18, 400 (13.6% hike).
Reacting to the price hike, Irukera said the FCCPC has conducted an investigation, pursued legal action in court to review the increase in charges.
Irureka disclosed that the FCCPC already “secured an injunction pre-empting price increase, entered specific orders regarding a provider, engaged in periodic surveillance and monitoring, and more recently inquired into a purported tax increase by at least one provider.
“The scope of the inquiry includes, but is not limited to questions about unfair dealings, unreasonable and manifestly unjust contract terms, abuse of market power, colourable pricing practices and other otherwise obnoxious or illegal conduct.
“This investigation is in order to address the Commission‘s concerns and publicly expressed consumer dissatisfaction with Pay TV services.”
He urged operators to familiarize themselves with the FCCPA and statutory clarifications of “their obligations to the FCCPC under 8.104 in addition to, and or irrespective of any obligations to other regulators.
“The Commission will continue to pursue initiatives and efforts that promote and ensure fairness to all,” Irureka said.